It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: firefighters

Week 45-Only the good die young, Day 6-William Caviness

William Caviness

Happy Columbus Day!  Columbus was probably a lot of things that we’ll never know, and definitely a lot of thing we can’t agree, but I think we can all agree that he was pretty brave.  It takes some serious guts to get on a boat and sail to some unknown new land…you think.  The journey across the Atlantic was definitely a marathon and not a sprint.  Marathoners are also heroes to me.  Any individual who can run 26 miles at once without being chased by someone with a deadly weapon has my utmost respect.  William Caviness was a 35-year-old marathon runner who collapsed just shy of the finish line at the Chicago marathon, died on Sunday.  It just reminded me that you don’t have to be famous, rich, or live the crazy lifestyle of a musician to be thankful for each moment here on Earth because you never know when it’s your last.

Caviness was a firefighter from Greensboro NC who has raised almost $3,000 for the International Association of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation before the marathon yesterday.  IAFFBF helps to raise money for burn victims and help educate the public about burn prevention, which includes the first responders like William.  Founded in 1982, the burn foundation is also very dedicated to improving the lives of burn survivors.  Caviness was particularly interested in supporting the IAFFBF because of the good work they do with children who have suffered from being burned.  The IAFF National Children’s Burn Camp gives young survivors the chance to explore Washington D.C. and share this unique experience with others who have been through the same experience.  The week-long camp includes tours of monuments, memorials, and museums and visits with national leaders and local firefighters.  A once in a lifetime experience like that is an amazing opportunity that they’ll never forget.  The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation was founded in 1982 with a very similar mission to IAFF.  GFBF has programs for fire prevention and burn education, medical facilities to help burn victims, and ways to help survivors thrive and support each other in the community.  GFBF is driven by the spirit and passion of the brave men and women who serve us, and their determination and loyalty to complete strangers.  William was a son, husband, and father who went to work knowing that he was putting his life on the line.  The world needs more Williams.

International Association of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation Donation 

Georgia Fire Fighters Burn Foundation Donation

So here’s to you William Caviness!  I didn’t know you but I am truly moved by your dedication to making this world a better place.  You may have left this world too soon, but it wasn’t in vain.  People all around the country and the world are hearing about your story, and the awesome charities you were so passionate about.  You may not know it, but you changed the world.  Thank you for reminding me why I started writing this blog 45 weeks ago.

Week 44-Rocktober!, Day 3-Stop, drop and rock and roll!

I realize this is the second day in a row I have posted my blog late, but tonight I have a good reason.  Really I do.  Tonight I got to experience my very first Buckwheat Festival!  For those of you who don’t know what buckwheat cakes are, they are exactly like pancakes but they are made with buckwheat instead of regular flour wheat.  And let me tell you, they are delicious.  Especially when they have two scrumptious sausage patties on top.  All you can eat buckwheat cakes for 8 bucks, and the profits help support the Kingwood Volunteer Fire Department, which is perfect because October is National Fire Prevention Month!  Stop, drop, and eat some buckwheat cakes.  Or roll, whatever.

Yummm buckwheat cakes

Sparky himself

You don’t need me to tell you that fire prevention is a pretty important thing.  The National Fire Protection Association works to reduce the burden that fires can put on our quality of life.  With more than 110 years of experience under their belt, NFPA is the real deal.  They are also responsible for 300 codes and standards that are designed to minimize the risk and effects of fire by establishing criteria for building, processing, design, service, and installation in the US.  Yes that sounds boring to read, and even to type, but I feel safer being after reading that.  Plus NFPA has figured out that having an adorable mascot is helpful and good for getting the kids interested in staying safe.  NFPA has also provided teachers and parents with all the fun activities they need, right online.  Volunteer firemen spend so much time protecting us and the things that mean the most to us, but who protects them?  Well, the National Volunteer Fire Council does!  NVFC is on a mission to provide a united voice for volunteer Fire/EMS organizations.  Almost 75% of all firefighters in our countries are volunteers.  What does that mean for our country?  It means these brave individuals save us an estimated $1.28 million dollars a year, and they provided us peace of mind.  NVFC goes beyond the field and supports the interests of state and local chapters at the national level, as well as with Congress and other federal agencies.  They’ve got all the bases covered.

National Fire Protection Agency Donation 

National Volunteer Fire Council Donation 

So here’s to stopping, dropping, and rolling!  We learned about you for the first time way back when we were in elementary school.  You rhyme, you’re easy to remember, and you really do help save lives.  You’re also proof of what I’ve been preaching since the beginning of this blog.  Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most effective.  Thanks for being so catchy and saving our lives.  Personally, I think these are equally important.

Week 28-When I grow up… Day 1-Firefighter

Do I have to?

This week is all about celebrating those wonderful career dreams we aspired to as children before we lost our innocence and chose our job based on salaries and retirement plans.  When this idea first came to me tonight I bounced it off Scott first because no one else was around, and I trust his opinion.  “Hey, what did you want to be when you grew up?”  And before I had even finished the sentence he blurted out, “Fireman!”  He then proceeded to tell me about his imaginary friends when he was little named Roy and Johnny, who also happened to be starts of the sitcom Emergency!.  Even though I had to look  up the show to have the slightest idea what he was talking about, I realized how thankful I was for my own childhood dreams.  We’ll get to those later this week.

Lots of little boys and girls want to be firefighters because they are real life super heroes.  They’re fast, they’re strong, they’re smart, and they save lives.  If being a real Batman or Robin doesn’t sound like the funniest job on Earth I’m not sure what would.  The New York Police & Fire Widow’s & Children’s Benefit Fund embodies the phrase “New York takes care of its own.”  Since its inception in 1985 the fund has given over $123 million to the families of fallen New York City heroes.  The fund provided almost 700 families with financial assistance each and every single year, not just for a short period of time after they lose their loved one.  A lot of people believe that New York is the greatest city in the world, and there is no doubt they have the greatest heroes in the world.  It makes me heart swell to know that an organization like the fund is taking care of the families of the great men and women who took care of New York through triumph and tragedy.  Firefighters are also such great heroes because they are everywhere, and many of them volunteer their time to save others.  The Star City Volunteer Fire Department is one of the local chapters in our area that keeps us all safe.  This may not be news to some of you out there, but volunteer fire departments are non-profits.  Their ability to perform daily tasks and protect those in their community is based on donations they receive.  SCVFD was also recently in the news because of their newest addition to the team, an adorable Dalmatian puppy named Pierce.  Obviously another really fun perk of being a fireman.  Local volunteer fire departments are also great resources for fire education and safety for children, and really people of all ages.  You’re never too old to learn about how to protect your own life.

New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund Donation

Star City Volunteer Fire Department Donation

So here’s to you firefighters!  You wear those heavy oxygen tanks and hot uniforms even though you’re running into some of the hottest temperatures imaginable.  Your big muscles and your even bigger heart are they key to you saving so many lives.  You do so much more than rescue kittens out of trees and pose for insanely cheesy calendars.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thankful for those calendars.  Especially when they’re half off at Barnes & Noble.

Yes, this will be hanging up in my office next year!

Week 15-Mis Amigos, Day 4-Jodi Marie

This one's for you Jodi!

I was planning on writing an entry about Miss Jodi Marie this week but after receiving a threatening email from her yesterday, I decided today was the day.  This is what I love about her.  She calls a spade a spade.  She and I went to middle and high school together, and roomed together two (basically three) years at NC State.  I can always count on her to be there when I need her, no matter what.  She would drive for hours, spend all the money she had to her name, and drop whatever she was doing if I told her I needed her.  I’m thankful for her wit, humor, and her love and loyalty to her friends.  Even if she tries to hide it most of the time.

We didn’t major in the same thing in college, but Jodi and I did believe in minoring in good times and high heels.  She majored in textile apparel management which was about as foreign to me, as sticking my arm up a cow’s butt for my animal reproduction class was to her.  I think we can both agree that fashion unites millions of people and makes for a great platform for charity.  Hero In Heels takes advantage of this connection and channels women’s passion for shoes into big bucks for women with cancer.  Everyone from Taylor Swift to Jennifer Aniston have donated their peep-toes and pumps (some even have their John Hancocks) to be auctioned off in the spring.  The funds raised go towards buying wigs, prosthesis or granting any other wish women with cancer may have.

My kind of charity

HIH was created by The Wish Upon a Hero Foundation which is dedicated to helping all types of wishes come true for individuals and organizations.  I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to be a hero?  Speaking of heroes, local firefighters came to the rescue when Jodi’s home was destroyed by a fire a couple of years back.  Firefighters risk their own lives everyday to keep countless others out of harms way.  The 100 Club of Arizona works to make sure that firefighters and other public safety officers and their families are taken care of.  Started in 1968 100 Club provides financial assistance to families of service members who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.  Over $5 million dollars have been donated through the 100 Club’s program and benefits during the past forty years.  They proudly stand behind the men and women who stand behind the badge.  There’s a reason little kids want to grow up to be firefighters, and it’s not because of that cool pool they get to slide down.

The Wish Upon A Hero Donation

The 100 Club of Arizona Donation

So here’s to you Jodi Marie!  You are funny, creative, intelligent, lovable, and generous.  You’re the only person I would want to get lost on a Raleigh city bus with, go to the C-store for hot dogs with, walk to Cameron Village with my car keys with, or call my “mom”.  You may have other people fooled, but I know you’ve got a soft spot in that heart of yours.  You love to do things for others, make people laugh, and you make even the most mundane chores a blast.  Thank you for making my fairy Halloween costume, buying me shots of I-don’t-even-know-what at the bar, hosting my fabulous 25th birthday surprise party, and sticking by my side since the seventh grade.  I love you mom.

Oldie but a goodie