I love the random day when firemen appear in the street holding their big boots going from car door to car door collecting money. When I was little, I didn’t care what they were collecting money for. I only cared that they were standing in the middle of the street, so dangerous, and I could crank down my window to put money into their boots. No, “Keep you hands in the window” yell from mom on that day. Now as an adult I don’t know what the attraction is: the philanthropy, the novelty, the Muscular Dystrophy Association or the firemen. Whatever it is, I am giddy when I see the firetruck by the side of the road, lights flashing and firemen with boots. I pull out my purse and start rummaging for whatever cash or change I have. $20? $5? $1? I roll down my window and hang out the money. (I wonder how many accidents happen in the MDA fireman campaign.)
This year I dropped money in the boot four times. As I was collecting my fourth sticker — if you have a kid you get a sticker for your donation — I had an epiphany. Maybe they just don’t do this in Denver, Colorado. Maybe there are firemen all over the country with their boots out collecting money. Maybe, gasp, maybe this happens at a set time every year and I just am not aware enough to notice.
A little bit of web sleuthing led to a little bit of information. The MDA Fill the Boot effort has been going on for 60 years, and always happens in the summer. This is how I remember it, always in the summer. However, I can’t find any information that tells me if this happens the same time every year for a given locale. For now the mystery is alive. At some point next year, in the summer, I can expect to see boots held out in the middle of the road and I can hope that I’ll have money to put in them. If not, I’ll head to the ATM machine and circle back around. That little ploy wasn’t utilized this year, but it has in the past and it will be again.
Were the boots out in your neck of the woods this weekend???