One firefighter has made it his mission to help families in need during Thanksgiving.

Firefighters at Station One in Marlborough, Massachusetts, are not only helping keep people in their homes, but they’re also putting food on their tables this Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition this team, under the direction of Bob Dolan, has kept up for several years.

How Firefighters Are Helping Families in Need

With money gathered from fundraisers, these firefighters head to the grocery store to load up carts with turkeys, cartons of milk, cranberry sauce, and all the dressings for a complete Thanksgiving meal.

Then they return to the station to unload, sort and separate before making up baskets for dozens of local families. After a 24-hour shift, they head out to deliver the Thanksgiving baskets, often accompanied by their own families. It’s a wholesome way to make ties in the community.

“We deal with families in our community on a daily basis, and we wanted to help them in a positive way,” says Bob Dolan, who has been working at Station One for three decades.

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Indeed, firefighters are often associated with many of the more tragic events in life, like house fires and kittens stuck in trees. But firefighters all over the country serve their communities in many ways. They provide medical assistance to EMTs, rush to road accidents, deal with hazardous materials, and give safety talks at schools. Firefighters provide help in all kinds of emergency and non-emergency situations — and not all of them require the use of a ladder.

The firefighters at Station One hope to create positive connections in the community before there’s an emergency. They want to ease some of their fellow citizens’ burdens and simply be good neighbours. They want everyone to have a long weekend to rest and enjoy a meal together as a family.

How Firefighters Are Bringing Families Food and a Peace of Mind

Without the help of the Station One firefighters, not every family in Marlborough would be able to celebrate. The Riveras, for example, had just recently moved out of a shelter. For Maria Rivera, a single mom, the pressure of putting a big, fancy meal on the table was stressful. The firefighters’ generosity allowed her to relax.

“It’s peace of mind, you know,” Rivera said. “It lets me be happy about the holidays.”

Another single mother echoes Rivera’s sentiments: “I couldn’t do it without having to dip into my budget or without having to stress out about it. We can actually enjoy it.” Without the help from the firefighters, she couldn’t imagine spending so much money on a single meal. Her daughter Hayley made a card for the firefighters to thank them.

Station One’s department motto is “Our family helping your family,” and they have certainly underlined the importance of community in times of need. Individuals gave donations, the firefighters gave their time, and everyone came together to serve those in their community.

Thanks to a whole town’s efforts, and the leadership shown by the men and women who serve them, dozens of families were able to enjoy a wonderful, stress-free holiday and focus on the things that really matter.

So maybe this year, as you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for, you can mention these firefighters and all those who serve their communities.


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