Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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September 10, 2011

Just ask Janet

JACKSONVILLE — Thursday we announced in the paper that the Jacksonville Daily Progress is serving as a collection and distribution point for donations to the county’s fire departments.

I think it’s important to note this is a staff driven project. Everyone here wanted to do something to help our local firefighters who are doing so much to help us. Most of these firefighters are volunteers. They have been working long, hard, hot hours and days to save our property and our lives. Not only do they put their lives on the line every time they are called out to fight a fire, they are also sacrificing time away from their job, their families and their daily lives.

Even if you and your property have not been endangered in recent weeks, surely you understand that it could be you tomorrow. All of us who have not been endangered should be grateful for that blessing and say to ourselves, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

We are not collecting money, because we are not set up to do so. But we are collecting water, Gatorade, protein snacks and other snacks, lip balm and hand wipes. These are small things in the big scheme of things, but much appreciated by those who use them when they take a short break from firefighting to grab something to eat and drink, or clean up just a little bit.

They do need cash donations as well, for fuel and repairs to their firefighting vehicles and equipment. If you prefer to donate cash, you can do so through County Commissioner Katherine Pinotti. Monetary donations should be put in an envelope clearly marked as to the name of the fire department it is intended to go to. Donations can be dropped off at her office at 7500 U. S. Highway 79 West.

I urge you to donate, whether it is money or goods. The paper will deliver donated goods to the fire departments as long as donations come in. Those fire departments are: Alto VFD, Bullard VFD, Earle’s Chapel VFD, Gallatin VFD, Jacksonville FD, Maydelle VFD, New Salem VFD, North Cherokee VFD, Reklaw VFD, Rusk VFD, Troup VFD, Wells VFD.

In Rotary we have a saying, Service Above Self. No one epitomizes this more than our volunteer firefighters. They are depleting their limited resources quickly with the rash of fires they have been fighting recently. These donations will be helpful to them, and greatly appreciated. Let’s all step up and help those who are doing so much to help us. In Cherokee County we are all neighbors, and this is what neighbors do for each other in times of need.  

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