Thursday, February 14, 2013

Helping, and then helping again

I don't think there is anything more quintessentially American than a volunteer fire company.  They were even started by Benjamin Franklin!  Among his other notable contributions to our nation, he started the Union Fire Company in 1736, up in Philadelphia.

Here in Baltimore County, MD, we have a top-ranked fire department with over 50 stations around the county.  Some of the stations are career stations, staffed by county-paid personnel, and there are 33 volunteer stations, where the men and women of the community spend countless hours training for, preparing for, and responding to emergencies of all types.

A great example of the volunteer fire company in our county is the Providence Volunteer Fire Company, at 1416 Providence Rd, outside Towson.  Full disclosure: I was a member there for many years in my early days, and still maintain a fond relationship with the folks over there as an "alumnus."  They even have an Old-Timers banquet every spring, where the current members get to hear us wizened old guys weave tales of the "big ones" from bygone days.  The young men and women are always very kind about hearing the same stories over and over again.

The bad fire from this past Sunday
Well, the other day there happened to be a very bad house fire right up the street from the station. If not for a lot of well-trained and hardworking firefighters from Providence and some of the other nearby stations, it could have been so much worse, but the family's home and possessions were severely damaged.

As sad as it makes me to think of a family suffering such a loss, it makes me just that glad that the people at Providence are joining in the community effort to try to replace some of the vital everyday items that a family needs (and takes for granted will be there every day and night.)  Channel 2 was even doing a story about this last night...

If you live around Towson, or if you wish to drive over that way (beltway exit 28, then a mile north), I hope you'll consider looking around in your pantry or closet, or stopping off at a store, and dropping off one or some of the items listed below. You may drop off your kind donations right at the fire house.  If you need further information, the contact is Lt. Dean Denning; his information is below, or you may send me a message if you wish.  The family wrote back to the fire company and listed their most urgent needs...


At the request of the Family from the recent house fire, the Providence Vol. Fire Co. will be accepting the following items: 

Paper Products-napkins, paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper
Medicine Cabinet Restock-first aid kit, extra band-aids, peroxide, alcohol, neosporin, therometer, ibuprofen, tylenol, aleve, cough med-Delsyum, cough drops, tums
Kitchen size trashbags
Dish soap
Hand Soap
Liquid Laundry Det.
Fabric Softener
Dryer sheets
Box Mac and Cheese
Chicken noodle Soup

In addition, we will be accepting small ($25 maximum) GIFT CARDS for retailers that sell these "necessities" and 'wanted' items.

Items may be dropped off at the Fire Station at any time !

The family has not requested any clothing, dishes, or other textiles...clothes for the children have been cleaned by the restoration company and are being returned tomorrow morning. We are well stocked. The dishes and other textiles I am holding off on, because we do not need them yet and since we are renting and will be moving from our current to rental and then later back home, I am trying to limit how much we have to move and pack up.

Other items that the family would love but are not necessities: outside toys like football balls, soccer balls, games for outside, skate boards, etc., board games like chess, checkers, guess who, monopoly...
Comfort treats: cake and brownie mix, blueberry muffin mix...they love to bake with me and make special desserts.

Family Details:
Male child 17-Likes soccer, rugby, Ravens, snowboarding, skateboarding, guitar (Junior )
Male child 14-Likes soccer, gaming, music-plays steel drums and keyboard (8th grade )
Male child 12-sports, especially soccer, learning guitar, anything outside (7th grade ) BIRTHDAY Later this week!
Female 12-soccer, swimming, loves to read and write, animals, especially dogs, exploring outside (7th grade) BIRTHDAY later this Week !
Male child 8-sports, playing anything outside, animals, hanging out with big sis (2nd grade )

Please contact Lieutenant Dean Denning with specific questions about donations @ 443-790-2060 OR

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