New York firefighters give toys to South Mississippi children - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

New York firefighters give toys to South Mississippi children


Several New York City firemen delivered Christmas a little early to South Mississippi by hosting three toy giveaways on Saturday. At Nativity BVM in Biloxi children rushed through the doors beaming with excitement to pick out their gifts.

Eight-year-old Bree Williams said, "I got this teddy bear and this thing right here you put in the bath tub and it changes color."

Much younger Sincere Coleman opted for a ninja turtle toy, but no matter what gift the children chose they all had smiles from ear to ear.

Denotra Coleman is Sincere's aunt, she said, "He is a firefighter crazy and then when he realized he was getting a fire hat and then oh my boy when he saw Santa aw, it's so exciting, you should see the smile on the kids faces here."

The firemen say that is what keeps them coming back.

Ray Ruckeescher said, "Give them a present and talk to them and meet with him, it's just so rewarding and it's a great feeling and I feel lucky to be able to do this."

In fact it is so important to these men to carry on their tradition they started seven years ago after Hurricane Katrina, they did not even let Sandy's devastation stop them.

"Some of the firefighters here with me had 4 or 5 feet of water in their homes, lost cars, lost everything," Ruckeescher said.

Despite the tragedy these men are dealing with they never lose their firefighter spirit.

Dennis Ruckeescher said, "Our whole careers were helping people so we kind of miss that in a way this is our chance to be able to help people and continue our firefighting experience."

And their generosity is appreciated by many.

Coleman said, "Just to come all the way down here to little ole Mississippi and to have them give out toys to kids that is fantastic, God is still working wonders and the wonder of Him is still on earth."

If you would like to help the New York firemen, you can donate to the Steven Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides the money for the gifts.

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