By: Master Technician Joel Kobersteen
Fairfax Center Fire Station 40, B-Shift
Today through Labor Day Monday, Fairfax County firefighters will be in controlled intersections all over the county taking part in the annual Fill the Boot campaign benefiting the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association. Thanks to the generosity of the citizens and visitors, Fairfax County has been leaders in the nationwide campaign for 10 years. Last year, Fairfax County broke all records and collected $616,040.44 securing their place as the highest raising municipality in the United States and Canada.
Fill the Boot is a campaign started in 1954 by a Boston firefighter who saw that his neighbor was having financial difficulty taking care of a child with neuromuscular disease. Fill the Boot was adopted as a “Charity of Choice” by the International Association of Fire Fighters that year and, to date, has raised over $583 million. All collections in Fairfax County stay in the Washington, D.C. area where they fund such things as:
- MDA clinic at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital; a “one stop shop” for the various health care professionals that patients with neuromuscular disease must see several times per year.
- Neuromuscular research at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University
- MDA Summer Camp in Leonardtown, Maryland where children from 6 to 17 years old can have a “normal” camp experience, complete with canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, crafts and fishing. All of these events are completely accessible and tailored to the campers particular disability. If you ask any camper, it is the best week of their year. This camp is provided at no cost to the family.
- Durable medical goods closet. This is where a client can borrow a piece of durable medical equipment such as a wheelchair, shower chairs, lifts and other items necessary for daily life.
So, if you happen to come up on a firefighter with a boot, please Fill the Boot for MDA!
*Above photo courtesy of Fairfax Firefighters Facebook page