“We got into this job to help people. We see families on their worst day, so it’s nice to see them happy,” said Mike Stevens, Lehi firefighter and paramedic. “This is something we look forward to every year.”
The Lehi Fire Department is still accepting donations to provide three to four Lehi families with a memorable Christmas this year. The firefighters themselves pay union and association dues throughout the year toward their Sub for Santa program. Local businesses contribute, too. “We want to do as much as we can for as many families as we can,” said Stevens.
“Some of the families come from calls we’ve been on during the year. We’re lucky that we get to see what they truly need. Teachers are a great resource, too,” Stevens continued.
The firefighters aren’t just raising and collecting money, they find out the needs and interests of each family, do all the shopping, wrap the gifts and sometimes even deliver them in secret. And firefighters can do something Santa can’t – give kids a guided tour of the fire station. “Kids love seeing the fire trucks,” said Stevens.
Mike Stevens has organized the Lehi Fire Department’s Sub for Santa program for almost a decade. He’s had some special moments delivering Christmas wishes. “One year a single mom and five children asked for stuff to decorate their tree and their front door. They had a Christmas tree, but no ornaments or lights,” Stevens remembered. Lehi firefighters decorated the tree and front door, surprising the family. “They were so genuinely grateful, and it was such a simple thing.”
“Lehi citizens are so good to us. We love this program and giving back this way,” Stevens concluded.
To donate to the Lehi Fire Department’s Sub for Santa, Venmo @firedriver82 or contact any of the three fire stations in town.