These boots are made for more than just walking if you’re a member of the Fairfield County Fire Service.
On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. volunteers will be posted at various intersections around Fairfield County to hold a boot drive.
Drivers are requested to leave donations in the boots will be overseen by uniformed firefighters.
Monies raised will stay in Fairfield County for disaster response services administered by the Red Cross.
According to former Red Cross Office Manager and Red Cross Volunteer, Eddie Wathford, the Red Cross does not receive federal funding for disaster relief unless the disaster is massive such as Hurricane Katrina.
Rather, the Red Cross depends on donations.
The drive is part of the Heroes Campaign, that the Red Cross holds each March.
“The fire chief’s association was glad to do a boot drive for us,” Wathford said. The last time Winnsboro had a boot drive was three to four years ago and the one day event raised around $1,500.
Cars who donate at an intersection will receive a six-by-six-inch square card with the American Red Cross logo that drivers can display on their windshields.
In addition to being a source of pride, the cards should keep motorists from being solicited several times for donations after they already have given to the cause.
The money raised will be earmarked for here. Funds assist families who suffer catastrophic losses in house fires, providing them with motel rooms and client assistance debit cards which can be used to purchase clothing and food.
The group also partners with the Fairfield Electric Cooperative for “Operation Roundup” whereby residents living in a area served by the co-operative can receive donations up to $1,000 as determined on basis of need by a committee.
Wathford also helps people with paperwork for “Operation Roundup.”
He, and another volunteer for disaster services, Dorothy Gather also refer them to the Good Samaritan House if the persons are in need of clothing or food.
“After a fire, to which my unit, Station 16, is dispatched, I take off my fire helmet and put on another helmet to let the victims know the Red Cross is there to help,” Wathford said.
For other dispatches, he must wait for approval from Rock Hill before he can respond.
An eight-year volunteer with the Red Cross and a 31-year volunteer firefighter, this former vocational rehabilitation counselor is thankful for the continued opportunity to serve residents of Fairfield County.
“Our goal is for our organization to be as independent as we can and to serve people in the way that is should be done,” he said.
Thus far the group has exceeded its yearly goal of raising $11,000 by raising $13,000. Every cent raised goes to Red Cross disaster relief.
Wathford hopes this year that community members will rally together to support this worthy cause and fill a boot to help a neighbor in need.