Personal giving to meaningful causes, whether in-kind or monetary contributions, is the life blood of many important organizations. The continuation of their mission is dependent on finding the resources to successfully deliver their services and / or messages. It is gratifying and uplifting, and a societal responsibility shared by all, to play a role in helping others during their times of need. This is not only a responsibility of adults, but it must be taught and passed along to our children, and grandchildren as well.
I choose to give to many organizations. Some receive support from my family throughout the year, while others during special times – such as the holiday season. It has become an ongoing family activity for us, and I often ask my grandchildren to assist in making decisions about who the recipients will be, and the amounts of our donations and contributions. This reinforces an important lesson about life – realizing that we are all part of something much bigger than just ourselves, and with that reality, comes responsibility.
My favorite organization to support is the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). They are a non-profit foundation founded to honor all firefighters who die in the line of duty each year throughout the United States. The NFFF also provides critical support programs to the families of these fallen heroes, and is responsible for conducting the annual National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service at the site of the National Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In addition, the NFFF is committed to other programs that are geared to prevention and research related to firefighter line of duty deaths. They also assist fire departments nationwide in dealing with the deaths of their firefighters when they occur in the line of duty.
It is easy for me to provide support to the NFFF, mostly because I am reminded regularly why it’s so important. Many times each year a spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister or friend approaches me about the firefighter they have lost. Their special and unique firefighter – who gave his / her life in service to others. When the bell tolls to signify a fallen firefighter, it can’t be reversed. It’s impossible to un-ring the bell. However, what is possible, is to honor their life, thank their loved ones for their own personal loss and sacrifices, and learn as much as possible from their situation to prevent it from happening to another firefighter in the future.
This is my giving story. Personal giving to worthy causes like the NFFF is one of the things that makes my life whole, and I feel fortunate to be able to contribute and watch my family do the same.