Fill the boot

Published 9:47 pm Friday, August 2, 2013

Perhaps you saw them Friday afternoon, standing in the parking lots of area businesses, holding boots out to passing vehicles to collect spare change, dollar bills and the occasional larger, more generous, contribution.

Firefighters from Suffolk will be out again today at 22 different locations throughout the city, collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The effort is a tradition in Suffolk, where firefighters have participated for years in the International Association of Fire Fighters’ annual “Fill the Boot” campaign.

Since it was started by a few firefighters raising money on their own for the MDA campaign, “Fill the Boot” has collected about $503 million nationwide. Each participating fire department raises money for its local MDA chapter, which provides programs, education and research for people with muscular diseases. Suffolk firefighters have participated for more than 13 years, raising about $400,000 through their efforts.

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Some of the funds raised help put on the weeklong summer camp held at the 4-H Airfield Center in Wakefield for children ages 6 to 17 living with muscular dystrophy, according to Jennie Mummert, executive director for Central and Southeastern Virginia MDA. The camp is an exciting part of the summer for kids who suffer from the debilitating disease.

For the firefighters, the collection drive is a chance to get out in public and connect with people in the area they serve, along with an opportunity to raise funds for kids who really need the help.

Firefighters will collect from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the following locations:

  • Walmart, 1200 N. Main St.
  • Firehouse Subs, 1207 N. Main St.
  • Walmart, 1200 N. Main St.
  • Chick-fil- A, 1018 N. Main St.
  • Raceway, 1215 Portsmouth Blvd.
  • Food Lion, 1010 Portsmouth Blvd.
  • Kangaroo, 1125 Wilroy Road
  • Food Lion, 1575 Holland Road
  • Walmart, 6259 College Drive
  • Kohl’s, 6253 College Drive
  • Harris Teeter, 7386 Harbour Towne Parkway
  • Chick-Fil-A, 6212 College Drive
  • Food Lion, 2815 Godwin Blvd.
  • 7-Eleven, 1000 Centerbrooke Lane
  • Walgreens, 2902 Godwin Blvd.
  • 7-Eleven, 2317 Holland Road
  • Suffolk Mart, 6273 Holland Road
  • Red Apple, 1139 Carolina Road
  • J and L, 6500 Whaleyville Blvd.
  • 7-Eleven, 6020 Godwin Blvd.
  • Food Lion, 3215 Bridge Road
  • Farm Fresh, 3605 Bridge Road

If you see them, stop and say hello. And be sure to drop some money in the boot. You can be sure it will greatly benefit some deserving child.