Pa. fire company looking to ship items to soldiers

January 02, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Franklin Fire Co. is seeking donations to ship items gathered during its first “Stuff the Firetruck for the Soldiers” collection.

Event coordinator Ken North said firefighters filled a trailer with things like hygiene items, golf balls and food. They collected donations at various Chambersburg-area sites between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

North said organizers originally believed they would receive reduced or free shipping for donations. However, he now anticipates they’ll need thousands of dollars to send the care packages.

With the large volume of contributions, North said volunteers are also looking for additional addresses for soldiers. He said they have about 30 addresses already.

“Our goal is to take care of Franklin County soldiers first and surrounding areas’ soldiers, too,” North said.

Organizers, who weren’t sure what to expect with the “Stuff the Firetruck” campaign, are now reviewing the collection and making suggestions for the future, North said. It might be moved closer to Veterans Day, he said.

Any money donated beyond what’s needed for shipping will be put back into the campaign, North said.

“We decided from the beginning this was not to profit us. This was for the soldiers,” North said.

Donations can be made through the fire company, with designations made for the “Stuff the Firetruck campaign.” The mailing address is 158 W. King St., Chambersburg, PA 17201.

North said people with questions about the campaign may call him at 717-729-2302.

He said his favorite moment from the campaign occurred Friday when a family approached a firetruck to ask why it was parked outside a store.

“The little girl, she must’ve been 4 or 5 years old ... she reached in her pocket and asked if she could help the soldiers,” North said, saying the girl presented a handful of nickels.

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