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December 22nd, 2009 by Terry Miller
Christina McCarthy and Chelsea Burne-Gomez have been best friends since they were a mere one-year old. So it was only natural that they recently combined their special coming of age birthday celebration.
In a move fitting the spirit of the holiday season, the two young women decided to celebrate their Quinceanera (their 15th birthday bash) by helping others less fortunate. They accepted no gifts for themselves, instead donating all their gifts to the Pasadena Fire Department.
The girls, who attend the Westridge and Poly private schools in Pasadena, invited their party guests to bring toys and gifts appropriate for children of all ages so that the Pasadena Fire Department would have a better selection for their annual “Sparks of Love” campaign, which each year delivers gifts to needy children in the Pasadena area.
Chief Dennis Downs said the effort made by the two 15-year-old students was an exceptional inspiration for this season, which he said has been one of the slowest on record in terms of donations.
Their proud mothers watched as the girls, assisted by firefighters and a younger brother, unloaded the piles of gifts from two very full SUVs and carted them into carefully organized containers. The girls then assisted firefighters with the long process of deciding which toys went where and to whom.
The girls said they were thrilled to help and got more out of this experience than they ever imagined.