Families in need receive early gifts from the Manson Fire Department

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MANSON- An early holiday gift knocked on the doors of 15 families last night during the Manson Fire Department’s annual Season of Hope event that brought more than $6,000 worth of grocery gift cards to those in need in their community.

Volunteers from Chelan County Fire District 5 headed out into the night as part of the annual Season of Hope campaign. The fire department started the program in 2009 after the firefighter’s association had donations and was looking for a cause.

The department partners with the Manson Red Apple Market to hand out gift certificates to a selected number of families in need, along with a voucher to the community’s Manger Mall to help provide gifts for children.

The drop-offs come as a surprise to the recipients, with a firetruck rolling up front to bring some early holiday cheer.

“When they come to the door and they’re trying to figure out what has just happened and the Christmas stocking with the gift inside,” said Chief Arnold Baker. “Once they figure it out many of them become emotional but they’re all so happy that this gift just found them.”

The gift certificates give the families an extra cushion during the winter season to buy what they need to feed their families and carry them over the holidays. The certificates ranged in amount depending on the family anywhere from $200 to $500.

“We know we’re meeting needs,” Baker said. “The kids get it, it’s been going on long enough that they don’t know if they’re selected as a family but when the truck rolls up and there’s a knock at the door they get excited because they know they get Christmas, they get to eat and they get Christmas.”

The association is a 501c3 that has a number of fundraisers throughout the year at community events, and sells shirts at the local Red Apple Market. Donations are also accepted, and all proceeds benefit the Season of Hope program.