Christmas comes early for Princeville firefighters
Posted December 21, 2016
Princeville, N.C. — The Red Cross is the first line of aid after a storm, such as Hurricane Matthew. Then, communities step in - friends, families, neighbors and churches work to help one another.
A group of firefighters on Wednesday drove nearly 200 miles from Winston-Salem to Princeville to deliver toys to children of Princeville firefighters.
Lamean Godwyn, a member of the all-volunteer Princeville Fire Department, has two children. His family is spending the holiday in a hotel room.
"If I ride by my house and look, there are no Christmas lights or anything, or Christmas tree up," Godwyn said.
The Princeville Fire Chief, James Powell, nearly drowned when rescuing a driver trapped in the flood waters. Powell, and his twin brother John who is a firefighter in Winston-Salem, grew up in Princeville.
"This is home, this will always be home," John Powell said.
John Powell and his fellow firefighters spent about $4,000 to buy presents for the families of Princeville firefighters.
"I was just led to do this," he said. "I've seen the devastation firsthand. I've seen the psychological toll it was taking on the guys, having nothing and putting their families on the back burner so they can put the community up front. I just wanted to do something to let them know we love them and we are thinking about them."
Firefighters in Princeville have been living in a tent with cots and sofas, but compassion has come in truckloads. The fire station was heavily damaged in the flood.
"Fortunately, my kids are going to have a great Christmas this year," Godwyn said.
According to the fire chief, a new station will cost about $2 million. So far, they have about $2,000.