Letter: Gina Schweppe, Loudoun Coupons for Hope

Editor: A preschooler can tell you what a firefighter does—they put out fires. But most of us don’t realize just how stressful the life of a firefighter is. First off, fighting fires is just a small portion of what they do. According to Mick Mayers, a firefighter for several decades, “We not only run to fires, but to any other type of emergency that the public needs to be taken care of. When people run out of options, they call the fire department.”

They find themselves called to assist in emergency births, rescuing animals and even fixing pipes, because they are the department available in a crisis. The reason they are available is because they work intense hours, 24-hour shifts at a time, on call for the entirety of their shift—day and night.

They spend some holidays and weekends away from their family, because emergencies can occur at any time. As if that wasn’t enough, according to the U.S. Fire Department website, 71 percent of firefighters in the U.S. are volunteers. These amazing men and women risk their lives, sacrifice their sleep, and choose to be away from their families all so they can be available if there is an emergency.

Most people, if asked, would say they appreciate their fire department. But how many people take the time to let their local fire department know that?

Loudoun Coupons for Hope teamed up with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s Small Hands Big Hearts Family ministry to make sure that our local station knew it. Ava Lane donated the profits from her lemonade stand to help purchase ice cream for the firefighters. Loudoun Coupons for Hope helped stretch Ava’s donation budget to purchase as much ice cream as we could!

After all the coupons and shopping, we showed up with a sweet treat for our firefighters, and gave them their own little ice cream party, plus gave them cards hand made by the kids expressing our thanks and appreciation for their dedication to keeping our community safe. Thank you, Sterling Fire Department, as well as other fire stations around the world that we couldn’t visit in person. We appreciate you.

Gina Schweppe, Loudoun Coupons for Hope

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