MERRILL - Needy families in Merrill will have a better Christmas this year.
The Merrill Fire Department is sponsoring the Tree of Hope.
The tradition has been around since the 1950's. People can drop off gifts for families in need.
Many people in the community donated toys and money. The fire department went shopping on Tuesday to help.
"What we do with our Tree Of Hope money is we go and buy all the leftover tags on the trees to make sure all the kids that signed up for something, get something for Christmas," said Administrative Captain Michael Drury.
The department lights up bulbs on the tree in front of the department for every donation. Captain Michael Drury estimated that they will donate to more than 700 children this year.
He says it is all about giving back to their community.
"It makes me feel sad that there are that many people in need but it's a great feeling to know you are a part of making Christmas special for a lot of kids. When somebody is in need of help they call the fire department and we respond. I think it is in the DNA of the firefighters to help out in the community as well," said Drury.
The Merrill Fire Department gave the gifts away Thursday December 18th. You can still drop donations off at the fire department until Christmas day.
|Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua