Thanks to the caring partnership between Frankfort firefighters and representatives from the Clinton County Boys & Girls Club, three area families will have toys, clothes, food and daily living staples to enjoy this holiday season.
According to Fire Chief John Kirby, for the past three years, firefighters have adopted three families so each of the Fire Department’s three crews could be involved in the program.
“Susie Michael and the team at the Boys & Girls Club choose the families for us based on the large number of requests they receive – far more than what is possible to assist. We pay for the families’ gifts through revenue we make selling pork burgers at the Hot Dog Festival and a generous donation from Center Township Trustee Kevin Evans’ office. Our booth at the Festival is an annual project every one of our firefighters participates in so they all play a role in raising the money spent on the families we help,” Kirby said.
Each crew will take their adopted family on a fun shopping trip to Walmart, using a list provided by the Boys & Girls Club staff of the family members’ ages, sizes and needs. Shopping carts are filled with clothes, coats and toys.
Crew C and their family will visit Walmart on December 19; Crew A on December 20 and Crew B on December 21. Each crew and family will meet at Fire Department headquarters at 257 South Clay Street at 6:00 p.m. on those evenings.
After shopping, the families and crews will return to headquarters for a tour and to spend time getting to know each other better. The Fire Department’s administrative team will purchase food for the families’ Christmas dinner, along with staples such as peanut butter, fruit, paper products and toiletries.
When families leave on those three evenings with their Walmart gifts, they also will go home with the food and staples.
“So often when residents encounter firefighters it usually is in dealing with a fire, accident or other tragedy and no one is smiling. This program allows us to bring holiday cheer and plenty of smiles.
“Through our involvement at the Hot Dog Festival, Fire Prevention Week activities at our schools, job fairs and our holiday partnerships with deserving families, our firefighters are very community-oriented and engaged in positive activities with residents we serve. This administration gives back and it’s definitely a win-win for everyone involved.
“Prior to 2016, firefighters delivered the gifts to families’ homes, but our current format of shopping together at Walmart and spending time together at fire headquarters afterwards has proven to be much more meaningful for our adopted families and firefighters,” Kirby said.
Fire officials will position an engine and firefighters on the other side of the railroad tracks on December 19, 20 and 21 to ensure coverage of the entire city those three days.
The Boys & Girls Club staff will be working hard on their Help a Neighbor program to purchase gifts and food for as many area families as possible who have requested assistance during the Christmas season.
Anyone interested in making a financial donation should call 765-659-3520 or mail a check to the Clinton County Boys & Girls Club with “Help a Neighbor Program” on the memo line and mail it to the Club at 1100 West Green Street, Frankfort, IN 46041.