FALMOUTH, Mass. — Thousands of gifts for military families this Christmas went up in flames last week when a building caught fire at Joint Base Cape Cod.
The organizer of the foundation that collected them all is now working hard to replace them.
The fire took out the whole building and the race is on to replace what was lost.
Don Cox got the call over the weekend. He was thankful nobody was hurt, but he also know what was inside was going to impact Christmas for a lot of children.
“This is tough, this is a tough pill to swallow," Cox said. “I was devastated. It was like the biggest punch in the gut you could ever take -- 41 days out and you think you're on your way, you have a couple of trailers of toys to finish you off and you’re done and it was just gone."
Most of the destroyed building was used by the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation.
They collect donated toys and other gifts to help military families on Joint Base Cape Cod focus on enjoying the holiday. Especially since many here are serving as enlisted officers.
“When it comes Christmas time, the heating bills are going up, the gas bills are going up and kids are looking for everything under the sun for Christmas."
Cox says, typically, they there's enough gifts for 800 children. They also help children find presents for their parents. The fire destroyed about 1,200 toys, 5,000 stocking stuffers and 200 back-to-school backpacks filled with supplies.
"We got wiped out completely Friday night," Cox said.
The good spirit of strangers is already helping Don replace what burned and more by the Dec. 11 Christmas party.
“Forty-one days today till we have a Christmas party for 800 kids," Cox said.
If you want to help in any way, you can contact the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation
By mail at:
P.O. box 641
Falmouth, MA 02541
By email at:
Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod is also helping coordinate donations.
Cox Media Group