Brighton emergency responders team up with Santa

Posted at 6:51 PM, Dec 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-24 20:52:47-05

A family of eight was able to celebrate Christmas Eve outside their RV homes with gifts thanks to the Brighton Police and Fire Departments.

The family was forced to move out of their home and inside a small RV after Rich Bugiyne lost his job last spring.

"I had $5,000 and I knew I was losing my house,” he said, “and I had to decide what to do and I thought 'RV, at least we can live somewhere.'”

They moved from parking lot to parking lot, eventually ending up at the Walmart in Brighton.

Officer Anna Marie Stapleton and her crew heard about the situation and decided something had to be done.

“Could you imagine waking up Christmas morning and looking out the window and seeing a Walmart sign?” said Stapleton, “so we had to do this.”

With the help of the Brighton Fire Department, word spread and soon the entire community began donating gifts and items for the family.

They got the family a room to stay in at a hotel and planned for a special Christmas Eve surprise.

“Knowing that we have outsources and resources and things that we can do to help somebody makes everything worth it,” said Stapleton. 

Both departments loaded up in their patrols and a fire truck and headed to the hotel with the man who does Christmas best -- Santa Claus -- who delivered the kid’s gifts. Gifts the children wouldn’t have otherwise been able to get.

“Joyous happy,” said Bugiyne,”grateful, just grateful.”

“It’s about giving,” said Stapleton, “I mean, really, it’s about happiness and joy and making sure that it’s not about us."

Stapleton said the departments are working to get enough money to buy the family a car so Steve Bugiyne can look for work. 


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