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Firefighters treat kids to Christmas: Shopping event provided for 12 boys and girls

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — For the past five years, members of Proctorville Community Volunteer Fire and Rescue have been working to make sure children in the village and surrounding area enjoy the Christmas holiday.

On Saturday, a group of 12 firefighter and volunteers took nine children shopping at Walmart on Route 60 in Huntington as part of the annual Shop With a Firefighter event.

Chief Thornton Thomas said the children were referred to them by the Fairland school district and that each was given a budget of $200 to purchase clothing, needed items and toys.

“We collect donations for this,” Thomas said of the effort. “And, if we run a little short, we pay for it.”

He said the children get to determine what they need, as long as the money is spent on them.

Thomas said donors included City National Bank, WesBanco, CJ’s Barber Shop, Hall Funeral Home and the Union Township Trustees.

“And we do a boot drive,” he said.

David Graham took Dora Allen around the store for shopping.

“We bought dresses, a baby doll, which she named Rainbow, a coat, boots and she was excited to get a new toothbrush,” he said. “And we got more toys, cupcakes and she wanted Cheetos.”

He said the experience was moving for him.

“It was exciting, just seeing her skipping through the store and running down the aisles,” he said. “It makes it well worth holding a bucket and standing in the rain.”

Angie Skeens, who accompanies them, agreed.

“It bring you back to the meaning of Christmas,” she said.

After the shopping trip at Walmart, Thomas said the children were taken out and treated to pizza for lunch.