NORTH SMITHFIELD – A family in need was surprised on Christmas Eve by the delivery of piles of gifts, food and more from members of the North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Service.
The firefighters adopted a town-based family, purchasing and delivering a bounty of gifts as part of an annual holiday effort to give back to the community.
Private Steven Provost took the lead in organizing the department-wide effort, as he does each year over the holidays.
“The firefighters all participate with the shopping and wrapping,” said Chief David Chartier.
Provost also led an initiative over Thanksgiving for give out food baskets, along with 360 pumpkin pies to residents living in The Meadows, Gatewood Apartments, Deerfield Commons, and Colonial Village, in a joint effort with members of the North Smithfield Police Department.
For Christmas, the group reached out to the North Smithfield School Department to identify a family who needed help.
Chartier notes that it was a good opportunity for his crew to interact with the public on a non-emergency basis.
“We are out there providing a service on a daily basis, and unfortunately we see people during an event that’s traumatic to them,” the chief said.
“We also see some of the hardship that exists in our community and the members recognize how fortunate they are and want to give back to those in our community who may be less fortunate,” he added.
The firefighters delivered the gifts and food basket on Christmas Eve.
“They were very surprised and extremely thankful,” Chartier said of the family.