In rural areas and small communities throughout the nation, volunteer firefighters are the ones who risk their lives to protect people and property from the devastation of fire and other natural disasters. With no pay and sometimes not even a thank you, they donate their time and often the use of their own equipment, tools, and transportation to fight brush or structure fires as well as helping with flood relief, storm damage clean up, and other efforts that need to be mounted in their communities. Finding a way to honor these community heroes is a great way for communities to show support for these volunteer efforts and help make sure the community appreciates the sacrifices they make every time they respond.
Hold an annual potluck dinner or picnic
People who volunteer for service to others love the communities they serve so it makes sense to set aside a day every year when the whole community can gather together and enjoy themselves. To make sure this type of event comes off without any complications, create a committee to handle:
- raising money to fund the event
- notifications to the community
- donations of food and supplies from local businesses
- signing up community members to bring potluck dishes to share
Create a scholarship fund in honor of local volunteers
Another great way to honor local volunteers is to create a scholarship fund to help provide training for future firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel. Make the scholarship fund easy for citizens and businesses to donate funds to by asking a local bank to set up an account for the fund and ask the local newspaper to donate space to publish periodic updates and news about the fund, including total donations collected and recipients receiving scholarship money from the account.
Host an annual awards celebration
Creating a way to show appreciation for these volunteers that will last a lifetime can be done by hosting an annual awards celebration for firefighters and other local volunteers. Consider having a parade, complete with the mayor and local dignitaries, the high school marching band, and other entertainment. Culminate the event with a candlelight celebration where the volunteers are presented with awards plaques to thank them for their faithful service.
By showing appreciation, communities can not only help take care of their current needs, but also help to ensure that future generations continue to volunteer to help the communities in which they work and live. For assistance, talk to a professional like Patch Plaques.