Jacksonville firefighters giving back to homeless families for Christmas

37 kids at Trinity Rescue Mission receive gifts from JFRD


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Twenty Jacksonville firefighters started their Christmas morning by handing out presents to homeless families, a group of people close to their heart.

It's a merry Christmas for 37 kids at Trinity Rescue Mission for Women and Children. This is the fourth year the kids there enjoyed Christmas along with the firefighters from Fire Station 4, just two blocks away from the rescue mission.

"We are all in the homeless shelter and we are like a big family here. We all look out for each other," resident Heidi Champion said.

Champion had a full-time job. Now she doesn't. The women have fallen on hard times.Thanks to for the Jacksonville firefighters, those hard times don't stop the kids from getting Christmas gifts. The man and woman behind the Christmas cheer, the Santa and Mrs. Claus, if you will, are JFRD Station 4 Capt. Raymond Lutzen and his wife Pam.

"Best part about this? The kids faces, when they tear the gifts open," Raymond Lutzen said. 

Every year, the firefighters raise money to get the kids the best gifts they can. This year there was a raffle won by Chief Robin Gainey who donated the winnings.

Why do these firefighters do this every Christmas, some of them on their day off?

"I think giving is more rewarding than actually receiving," Raymond Lutzen said.

Their giving was well-received.

"This was amazing for the children, and we really do appreciate everything they do for us," said Champion. 

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