But this year, members also collected for the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund to provide assistance to members affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. By the end of the holiday weekend, Local 2068 had raised $500,000 for MDA and more than $126,000 to help their brothers and sisters in need.
“These numbers are incredible,” says General President Harold Schaitberger. “Because of the dedication of Local 2068, not only will MDA have a sizeable donation to allow them to continue doing their important work, but the donation to our Disaster Relief Fund will help the IAFF continue to provide assistance to members affected by Hurricane Harvey and future disasters.”
As Local 2068 prepared to launch its annual Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for MDA, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast where thousands of IAFF members were in the storm’s path.
“MDA is extremely important to Fairfax County members, but our members also felt strongly about helping our brothers and sisters in need,” says Local 2068 President John Niemiec. “I am very proud of what our members were able to do over the Labor Day weekend.”
Local 2068 Fill the Boot Coordinator Joel Kobersteen says, “It’s incredible the kindness the public exhibited to our members throughout the campaign. I could never have predicted the tremendous outcome.”
The goal was to donate at least $50,000 to the IAFF Disaster Relief Fund. Local 2068 knew it needed to raise $550,000 or more to make both goals. On the first day alone, members collected more than $173,600.
Despite cold temperatures and rain, Station 5 raised more than $28,200 in a single shift, a fundraising record for the local. The total for the day was $155,600.
Throughout the remainder of the weekend, public donations never slowed, and Local 2068 was able to surpass its fundraising goals.