Many years ago a crew responded to a home where a young girl had an accident and knocked out her front teeth. When the engine company arrived to assist the patient one member of the crew looked in the refrigerator in search of milk to put the teeth in until it could be determined if the little girl’s teeth could be replaced or not. When the firefighter opened the refrigerator it was almost empty and the kitchen cabinets were equally as bare. The engine company decided to travel to the other fire stations, take up a collection, and return to the home with gift certificates for food and basic supplies for the family. This was the very beginning of Create A Smile, the firefighters' community charity fund. Since then all of the Mountain View Firefighters have contributed a portion of each paycheck into this fund as well as contributions from local individuals and businesses alike.
Since the inception of Create A Smile many years ago, the Mountain View Firefighters have used these funds to achieve the goal of creating smiles on the faces of those in need.
By the nature of our work, Mountain View Firefighters have a unique perspective for identifying various needs throughout the community. By way of this unique perspective we have identified numerous individuals, families and organizations which have received donations of various kinds from Create A Smile and the Mountain View Firefighters. Although we are always alert for those that may be in need we also have regular involvement in programs committed to impacting our community in a positive manner.
The Alissa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation is a regular recipient of dollars and time. This organization is close to our hearts as the non-profit is committed to the ongoing work necessary to serve kids and adult burn survivors in numerous ways. 100% of the funds raised from our Annual Pancake Breakfast, held each September, are contributed to the AARBF. We also have a number of dedicated firefighters who spend time each summer working as volunteer camp counselors for kids who are survivors of burn injuries called Champ Camp.
The Create A Smile fund also provides funding for the Annual Chief Walsh and Chief Fetz Memorial Scholarships. Through the scholarship program, four college-bound high school seniors will receive a $750 scholarship for use on tuition, books, vocational schooling, etc.
The Mountain View Firefighters also support Rebuilding Together, a national program assisting homeowners by providing free home modifications and repairs, making homes safer, more accessible, and more energy-efficient. Stay tuned for our next Rebuilding project.
In cooperation with the Bay Area Food Bank and the Mountain View Senior Center, the Mountain View Firefighters are also proud to provide holiday dinners to those seniors that may not otherwise be able to have a warm meal.
It is through partnerships such as these that allow us to express our appreciation and dedication to the Mountain View community. The Mountain View Firefighters are honored to be a part of this community and look forward to continuing to have an impact on the City we are proud to serve.