Pirates, Salvation Army help family affected by house fire

“It’s the Pirates, and they’re comin’ this way!”

That was 10-year-old Hayden Cobbs first reaction upon seeing several of the Pittsburgh Pirates and famous pierogies headed straight for her family with arm fulls of presents.

With a little help from the team and the Salvation Army, the family of eight had a very merry, early Christmas, after losing everything in a house fire in November.

That’s when the Salvation Army in Bellvue’s Adopt A Family program teamed up with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization to gift the children toys and clothes, presented by the Pirates themselves.

Several players, including Steven Brault, Clay Holmes, Felipe Rivero and Edgar Santana, helped deliver wrapped presents straight from the Pirates Care-A-Van and into the hands of Hayden, Drake, Destin, Amelia, Fiona and Gwen.

Mom Sarah Cobbs says when she got the call that a secret donor wanted to give her family a spectacular Christmas, she never expected the donor would turn out to be the Buccos. The kids however, had no idea they were even getting presents.

Cobbs describes the events leading up to and following the fire in her home, baby Gwen in tow, and explains that her children actually personally picked out all the toys a while back, thinking they were gifting them to another family.

She says she’s most thankful for the fact that the kids have something to take their mind off the loss.

“This is wonderful,” she says,” that the kids have some stuff that’s theirs now.”

Major League assistant pitching coach with the Pirates, Justin Meccege, tells us the organization likes to partake in charity work as much as possible, especially around the holidays.

“This week we have [charity events] going on from today through Saturday,” he says. “We had a stop earlier and we have another stop after this. So about three stops a day for the next four days.”

The Pirates shared photos of some of their other holiday stops on Twitter.

As for Hayden’s take on the big surprise?

“It was a bliss,” the eldest Cobbs child says. “Thank you for making it happen, and that thank you is to the Pirates.”