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Firefighters 4 Kids: A Closer Look

14352556_1110113159070632_7898080955265103914_oYou’re all heroes for helping heroes.

The GETDOT community came together on September 15 to raise $5,000 to support Firefighters 4 Kids. Let’s learn a little bit more about this outstanding organization.

“This program was started in Columbus 39 years ago almost by mistake,” said Mike Mullins, a firefighter. “I responded to a radio request for toys for a lady called Mrs. Santa.  We had toys in the basement of our training academy.  She made contact, came to get the toys and I asked her if we could do anything else.  She said she needed a new Santa suit, so we collected money, bought her the suit and the next year she quit.  We had started helping through the radio station and had put contact info out, so when she left, they called us. “

We had enough contacts that we got things together and ended up helping 25 families is 1978,” he continued. “From there, it sorts of snowballed to last year’s total was about 6,300 families or about 19,000 kids.”

The five grand recently raised is being well-spent.

“We use all of our resources to purchase items for the age group of children that we don’t get enough items for.  For example, we purchased about 2,000 MP3 players that went to the older age groups.  This year we purchased a semi-truck load of diapers for the small children.  We use the money to fill in items for all age groups as needed,” Mullins said.

Mullins described Columbus as “a very giving community.”

“We have had soooo much help from groups like yours, and that’s what makes this program,” he said of GETDOT.  “Since this program started, we have had seven different fire chiefs who have supported our efforts.  Without their help, this could never have progressed the way it has.  We also get so much manpower help from the community to help collect, sort and package.  This is a total combined effort, and we couldn’t do it without all the help we get.”

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