Swatara Township Fire adopts family for Christmas


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Santa’s sleigh slid into Swatara Township a little early Friday evening.

For the second year, the fire department adopted a family for Christmas who needed a little bit more help for the holidays.

What the family thought was a pizza party turned out to be a present-palooza.

“Everything we buy for the family, most of the funds are donated by the firefighters to make that happen,” Fire Chief Michael Ibberson said.

They make it happen even when they’re interrupted mid-celebration to go on a call, because running into burning buildings isn’t quite enough community service.

“Firefighters are programmed to help people, and it’s not just for fighting fires, saving them from car accidents and medical calls. They have really big hearts,” Ibberson said.

They have big hearts and thankfully, big muscles. While the family was opening presents, other firefighters were building the boys new bunks beds.

“New pillows and new blankets, yeah, to put on my bed,” 4-year-old Jai’Rell said.

“Words cannot describe the look on a happy child’s face,” Ibberson said.

Ibberson hopes that “happy” stays in their hearts for Christmases to come. 

“Maybe someday they’re gonna remember what a whole bunch of firefighters did for them and they’ll be able to pay it forward to somebody else,” Ibberson said.

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