by Kaitlyn McConnell
Local firefighters are now helping kids in a new way: Through Firefighters for Kids, a campaign launched by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth that offers fire departments a variety of simple ways to raise money for children in the area.
“We are very appreciative of all of the departments that have stepped up to help local children in this way,” says Tim Siebert, executive director of CMN Hospitals at CoxHealth. “Every single dollar makes a big difference, and even handfuls of pocket change can add up.”
One way fire departments can help are Bucket Brigades. During these events, individuals stand at intersections in participating communities and accept donations, helping fill buckets with money.
The Firefighters for Kids campaign has been widely received throughout the area. Fourteen different fire departments in area communities have signed up to participate, a list that currently includes Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District, Fair Grove Fire Protection District, Central Taney County Fire Protection District, Wheaton Fire Protection District, Howell County Rural Fire District #1, Ebenezer Fire Protection District, Chadwick Rural Fire Protection District, Pleasant Hope Fire Protection District, Butterfield Fire Protection District, Central Polk County Fire Protection District, Strafford Fire Protection District, Eleven Point Rural Fire Department and Pomona Fire Protection District.
Additionally, the Marshfield Firefighters Association already had their Bucket Brigade and found great success: More than $5,200 was raised during the course of one weekend.
However, Bucket Brigades aren’t the only ways firefighters can participate. Other ways to give back include pumping gas for donations at local filling stations, renting out fire department space, hosting music concerts, or even challenging neighboring fire departments to competitions. Securing area businesses to sell Miracle Balloons is also an option.
“There are many options with this program, and great flexibility to find a way to support kids any time of year that works with each department,” says Siebert. “We are happy to help brainstorm and find ways to ensure that whoever wants to find a way to participate in this campaign can do so.”