Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The Gwinnett County Fire Department will be out in the community May 5, 12, and 19 to collect money to benefit the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. GCFD will receive 10% of the money they collect and use it towards their Public Fire Safety Education program by providing smoke detectors to people in need in the community.
Give Burns the Boot benefits the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, which has a three-pronged mission: to educate the public in burn awareness and prevention, to support medical facilities in the care of burns in Georgia and to assist burn survivors in their recovery.
One of the GFBF's programs is Camp Oo-U-La, a week-long summer camp held each year at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder.
The state's only program designed for burn-injured children, Camp Oo-U-La helps young burn victims with their physical and emotional recovery through outdoor activities and self-esteem building events. The camp will be held this year from June 3 through 9.
For more information on the camp, visit gfbf.org/what_we_do/.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County firefighters were out en masse Saturday and will follow suit the next two weekends, passing around their own version of a collection plate -- a boot.
As part of the 22nd annual Give Burns the Boot fundraiser, representatives from all 30 Gwinnett fire stations will set up at various shopping centers and intersections in their service areas. Using their own boots to collect money, they'll be bringing in donations for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.
Gwinnett has been among the top fundraisers in the state for several years.
BY THE NUMBERS
Total amount raised: $51,203.92
Ranking in state: 4th
Total amount raised: $33,920.00
Ranking in state: 7th
Total amount raised: $77,980.65
Ranking in state: 1st
Total amount raised: $61,770.99
Ranking in state: 3rd
Total amount raised: $61,001.22
Ranking in state: 4th
"Citizens in Gwinnett County have always been generous," Gwinnett fire department spokesman Capt. Tommy Rutledge said. "They know that when they give the money to those firefighters it's going to a good cause. And we never know when we're going to have a burn injury in Gwinnett, whether it's a firefighter or a citizen."
The GFBF has a three-pronged mission: to educate the public in burn awareness and prevention, to support medical facilities in the care of burns in Georgia and to assist burn survivors in their recovery. One of the group's projects is Camp Oo-U-La, a week-long summer camp for child burn victims held each year at Camp Twin Lakes in Winder.
While most of the money raised goes to the burn foundation, 10 percent is also returned directly back to Gwinnett's fire department. Rutledge said that money is used to provide smoke alarms to local families in need.
"We're able to provide one per household as long as supplies are available," Rutledge said.
Over the last five years, Gwinnett has raised nearly $300,000 for the GFBF. In four of the last five years, those efforts ranked in the top four among more than 100 participating departments in the state.
In 2009, a grand total of $77,980.65 raised put Gwinnett at No. 1 in Georgia.
Firefighters will be raising money on the following two Saturdays, May 12 and 19.
"We understand the importance of burn prevention programs," Rutledge said. "...We know that the money is going to a good cause and it fits with what we do as a fire service."