Barrow County firefighters will be collecting donations May 13-15 during the 21st annual “Give Burns the Boot” drive. Proceeds from the boot drive benefit the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.
“We are asking citizens to give as much of a donation as they can when they pass a firefighter standing on a street corner,” said boot drive chairman Lt. Ernest Weant. “No matter whether it is a large or small donation every dollar will help.”
The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation educates the public regarding burn awareness and prevention, supports medical facilities in the care of burns in Georgia and assists burn survivors in their recovery.
The foundation fulfills the mission through several different programs including the Chesney Fallen Firefighters Memorial Grant Program, named in memory of a Gwinnett County firefighter who died in the line of duty. This program provides funding to fire departments’ fire safety/burn prevention programs. In the last seven years, the foundation has awarded more than $154,000 to departments across the state.
The Foundation also works closely with both the Burn Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta. Each year, the foundation provides funding which helps these facilities acquire equipment and train personnel.
Money raised during the boot drive will also benefit “Camp Oo-U-La,” Georgia’s only camp exclusively for burn-injured children. Last year, the camp celebrated its 17th anniversary. Eighty campers spent a week at Camp Twin Lakes in Fort Yargo. The cost for both the campers and volunteers is covered entirely by the Foundation.
Barrow County Emergency Services and the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation will use funds raised during the boot drive to help lower the rates of fire fatalities and burn injuries.
“Please give generously when a firefighter asks for your support,” Weant said. “This money will help so many, including citizens right here in Barrow County.”