The Turlock Fire Department held its annual Boot Drive last weekend, raising a grand total of $15,977.36 for the department's “Random Acts of Kindness” fund.
Every year, the Turlock Fire Department holds its Annual Boot Drive at the central intersection of the Monte Vista Crossings shopping center. This year, 22 firefighters came together to raise funds by holding one of their boots out to passing cars, most of which generously contributed a donation.
All of the funds go directly back to the community through the the Random Act of Kindness fund, which seeks to help community members in need.
“The Random Act of Kindness fund was put together about 40 years ago,” said Frank Saldivar of the Turlock Fire Department. “For instance, if a family gets burned out of their home and has no insurance we would use those funds to help them in any way that we could. We can’t buy everything but we can help assist with things.”
Saldivar said that the money raised has allowed the Turlock Fire Department to make sizable donations to various charities and organizations. For example, Turlock Fire has donated $2,000 annually to Turlock Together, and made a $5,000 donation to the City of Turlock for the Christmas parade, a $2,500 donation to the Turlock Unified School District, the Turlock Education Foundation, and many more.
“We always give them some guidelines on what to use that money for,” said Saldivar. “Such as with the school district, we asked that the money be used only on students, and not for district purposes such as maintenance. We like to know that it is serving students at need, and we know what students need help.”
Each year, the Turlock Fire Department also holds an crab feed to add money to the Random Act of Kindness fund. The most recent crab feed raised approximately $13,500.
“All of the money we make goes back into the community,” said Saldivar. “ None of it is used for anything else. It is for families that need our help in some way or another. And it’s working out very well for us. Most of the time when you help someone, they turn around and help someone else when they can. It’s kind of a snowball effect of giving and helping.”