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Power of community on display this Christmas for Bloomfield, N.L. family

Firefighter Blaine Hicks helps organize donations for family who lost home in fire


Firefighter Blaine Hicks didn’t know the Sibley-White family personally when she and the Lethbridge Volunteer Fire Department, along with the Musgravetown firefighters, responded to a call in Bloomfield last Friday night, Dec. 14 — only 11 days until Christmas.

However, as she watched the Sibley-White household destroyed in the flames, she told father Steven White that she would make sure his children, six-year old Matthew and one-and-a-half year old Rachel, would have a great Christmas they would never forget.

Hicks made good on her promise on Saturday, Dec. 22, presenting a multitude of gifts to the Sibley-White family in Lethbridge.

She helped organize an astounding response of charity from the local community, including cash donations, toys, a hamper for Christmas dinner, family photos, a TV and more. Hicks says she is proud of the response from the local people, businesses, organizations like the fire departments, MHA Neil King’s toy drive, and even Mary Anne Sibley’s home school — Botwood Collegiate.


Community rallying to help Bloomfield family after devastating fire

Sibley told The Packet, as tears fell down her cheeks, the response — especially for her kids — was overwhelming, thanking everyone for what they had done.

“The community itself has been phenomenal,” she said. Adding that seeing the Bloomfield area, and their own hometowns come together was wonderful.

“My faith in humanity is certainly restored.”

Santa Claus himself helped deliver the presents on Saturday, promising to come back on Christmas Eve with more presents for Matthew and Rachel.

Six year-old Matthew has taken an interest in the fire department since the fire and he was given several fire trucks and even an official crest to wear.

And through everything the family has gone through, the little boy is certainly wise beyond his years, as Sibley says he told her in the days after the fire, the toys and material things — while nice — aren’t all that’s important.

“He said, ‘Mommy, I don’t really care about my toys (lost in the fire), our family is the only thing that matters.’”

Twitter: @jejparsons

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