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Jolly elves who drive big tanker trucks

South Boston News
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING — Members of the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department went shopping yesterday with local youngsters. Shown are J. E. Anderson, Walmart’s Debi Bridgforth, Captain Devin Snead, shoppers Leanna Grove and Dustin Grove and their mom, Mary Betterton, Chief Andy Hughes, Terry Hudson and Ryan Hughes. (SOMcL photo)
SoVaNow.com / December 20, 2012
Christmas shopping might be a hassle for some, but not for two young Sydnor Jennings Elementary students who were treated yesterday to a trip to Walmart by Liberty volunteer firefighters.

Dustin Grove, a third grader and his sister, Leeanna, a first grader, arrived to shop at Walmart with their mom, Mary Betterton, aboard the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department tanker.

On the way over from school, the two children talked about what they wanted to buy with money the fire department had raised for its “Take a Child Shopping” campaign.

Accompanying the young shoppers were Liberty VFD Captain Devin Snead and Fire Chief Andy Hughes, along with other department members: J. E. Anderson, Terry Hudson and Ryan Hughes.

The youngsters, who received $25 gift cards from Walmart, each had a total of $131 to spend. They decided they would use most of their money on clothes, but allocate enough to purchase at least one toy for each of them. They were also careful to remember their baby sister, Skye, who was at home, planning to buy something for her.

Dustin was also fairly insistent that he had to have camouflage coveralls for Christmas. He spent much of his time looking for just the right pair, although the offerings in the Walmart sporting goods section were a little big for him right now. Hughes patiently helped the youth pick out his choice.

His sister was more interested in clothes, opting to purchase socks and new shoes.

She couldn’t quite decide on a Christmas gift for little Skye, though. After considering a purple coat adorned with stars, or a pink one covered in snowflakes, she finally decided it had to be the pink one.

Then came the big moment when the children tallied up their spending, checked their leftover funds and headed over to the toy department to chose what they most wanted there. Dustin picked out a video game and Leeanna bought a camera.

To cap off their shopping trip, the happy youngsters, wearing newly acquired Liberty Fire Department caps, were treated to a lunch at McDonalds before heading back to school.

Snead said firefighters donated money from their own pockets for the shopping trip and then contacted the school for suggestions on who to take on the trip. A raffle was held and Dustin and Leeanna were the winners.

“We hope that next year we will be able to expand and bring more kids out to shop for Christmas,” Snead said, obviously pleased with the day’s results.



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