Guilford Professional Firefighters Give Back To The Community
December 29, 2015
While the Guilford Fire Department serves the community during times of emergency, last year, firefighter Mike Penders wanted to expand the department’s services in order to help even more community members.
“As it is we do a lot for the community, but the only things we were doing were for the ones who call 911, so we wanted to give back to our customers we don’t see on an emergent basis,” said Penders. “On 911 calls, I always say, ‘I’d love to see you, but not under these circumstances.’”
So Penders found another way to interact with the community and help those in need. Penders organized a food drive and the tradition continues this year with the Guilford Professional Firefighters Food Drive on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Big Y. The drive will benefit the Guilford Food Bank.
“No matter what community you live in, hunger is all the same,” said Penders, who has been with the Guilford Fire Department for the past two years after working as a firefighter in Massachusetts for six years.
Many of Guilford’s firefighters have volunteered their time to work at the food drive and their goal is to stuff a fire truck—more than four times.
“Last year was a great success,” said Pender. “We stuffed the truck four times over and did a ‘Fill the Boot’ that raised $3,000 that all went to the Guilford Food Bank.”
Just how much food fits inside of four fire trucks? Penders said last year’s drive saw 52 fully loaded shopping carts of food donated. While Penders was thrilled with those numbers, he has bigger goals for the 2015 food drive.
“We’d like to beat our totals from last year,” said Penders, who has two children, ages 2 and 4. “My kids will be helping out and we’d love kids to stop by and they’re welcome to help out or get a picture with the fire truck.”
In addition to the food drive on Dec. 12, non-perishables can also be dropped off any time at the Guilford Fire Department, 390 Church Street, through Sunday, Dec. 20. Penders noted that drive at the firehouse was also very successful. With the success of the drive and the support the Guilford Fire Department has received, Penders plans on keeping up this tradition for years to come.
“The outpouring of support has been tremendous,” said Penders. “We’ll continue this every year I’m working there, which will be at least 20 more years, and any support from the community is greatly appreciated.”