By SARAH FOOR
During the holidays the members of the Poland Firemen’s Association transform from brave firefighters into Santa’s elves as part of their charity project “Christmas at Our House.”
Now in its 11th year, “Christmas at Our House” teams the firefighters with local schools and churches who nominate Poland families to be provided assistance during the holidays.
“There is definitely need in the Poland community and that becomes especially apparent during the holidays. Each year, we’re proud to say that we provide assistance to 23 families who truly need our help,” explained program co-chair John Walsh.
The program provides a complete holiday in a gift basket. For kids, the firefighters include clothing and toys and also include a complete holiday meal with food provided by Shop n’ Save in New Castle, Pa., and a turkey by the Tamarkin Company.
Fundraising for “Christmas at Our House” began Thanksgiving Day and runs until Dec. 17. On the last day of the program, the members of the firefighters will shop, wrap and deliver their gift baskets.
On Nov. 25, Poland firefighters stood at the corner of Route 170 and Route 224 to collect boots for their boot drive. The drive provides two years of funding for the “Christmas at Our House” program.
“If you missed the boot drive, anyone can offer a tax-deductible donation at our South Main Street fire station any time until Dec. 17. All of the funds are staying right here in Poland and providing a wonderful holiday for our neighbors,” Walsh added.