Firefighters hand deliver holiday cheer

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Updated: 12/22/2012 5:39 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- Reno firefighters took a moment to hang up their gear and deliver some holiday cheer.

"It's all over the city, people do need help and we're happy to help them this way and when we got to their house on an emergency," Reno firefighter Dan Freshman says.

The tradition started over 80-years ago by giving families in need wood and coal so they could heat their homes.

Now it's turned into the Sam Saibini Christmas Food Basket Program after the firefighter who started the program.

Current and retired Reno firefighters deliver food baskets to families in need.

News 4 got to join the firefighters as they made their special deliveries.

"It's really directed at the children so you know they get up in the morning and they have something to eat. they have a dinner to look forward to and it really is a special thing to have that food in your cabinets," Freshman says.

Each basket has about $35 worth of food, everything from cereal, hot chocolate, eggs, even bread. Food that's going to last well through the holiday.

"We wanted to give them a little bit something more than just a holiday dinner," Reno firefighter Jana Maas says.

This year 100-families are got a food basket.

Maas helps organize the program and says she gets names of families in need from a variety of organizations in town like the Washoe County School District.

About 80-percent of the funding, sometimes more, comes from Reno firefighters themselves, their families and retired firefighters.

It's a special tradition for them to all come together, enjoy camaraderie with the other Reno fire stations, whom they don't usually get to see unless it's out on an emergency call.

"Tradition that we take pride in so as far as I'm concerned it's going to go on as long as we can do it," Maas says.

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