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WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 20, 2011, 10:32 PM

Dilworth firefighters team with Lion's Club to bring Christmas cheer

Dilworth, MN (WDAY TV) - It can be a tough time of year for people struggling financially, unable to buy gifts or afford a Christmas dinner. But many people in the Metro Area are doing everything they can to make sure those instances are few and far between.

It can be a tough time of year for people struggling financially, unable to buy gifts or afford a Christmas dinner. But many people in the Metro Area are doing everything they can to make sure those instances are few and far between.

The holiday season is about joy, family, and for most kids, finding out what Santa has left under the tree. And when times get tough, sometimes the presents dwindle. But this year, some have gone out of their way to make sure that doesn't happen.

Nicole Wickherst - Dilworth: “I'm down on my luck this year, my hours are down at work and I just haven't been able to get the kids a whole lot for Christmas.”

Nicole Wickherst is like so many in the area, struggling to get by.

Crystal Ruiz - Dilworth: “I'm a single mom with four boys, so the extra presents would be great for them, they would enjoy it.”

Tonight, a bright spot in a dark time. Not by the man in the bright red suit, but by a couple guys in a big, bright red truck.

No reindeer, no cookies, and these guy's certainly aren't climbing down any chimneys; just a simple knock on the door. But judging by the smiles on these faces, these Dilworth firefighters may as well have been Santa Claus.

Shawn Teal – Dilworth, 17: “It's really nice, especially for them to come over and do something for us. It means a lot.”

Zachary Teal – Dilworth, 12: “It's really special because there are people looking out for other families and it just feels real nice that there's people out there willing to help people.”

In partnership with the Lion's Club, the firefighters handed out more than $6,000 worth of gifts and gift cards to 17 families in need.

Mark Empting – Dilworth Assistant Fire Chief: “As more and more people heard about it, more and more people came forward with donations and wanting to help.”

Whether it's a few extra presents, or a gift card to feed the family, it's not only Santa who will be brightening the holiday season for these families.

Crystal Ruiz: “It's absolutely wonderful. I just moved to Dilworth and the school and community has been very, very great.”

Nicole Wickherst: “It means a lot to me, and this year, it'll be a good year.”

This is the first year of the event, but the Dilworth Fire Department told me tonight, with the response they got this year, they hope to do the same thing in 2012.

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