Today I bought a rescue saw, three AEDs, six ice water rescue suits, 5 sets of turnout gear, 7 helmets, 6 pairs of boots, and a rapid deployment craft, all for six volunteer fire departments in Ontario, Canada, my home province. This makes 28 grants so far for the men and woman who volunteer to serve their small communities in Ontario.
How lucky am I to be able to follow my passion for helping firefighters and first responders in my home province of Ontario? I’m overjoyed today to be announcing my third series of grants to five volunteer fire departments across the province. From the Pikwakanagan Fire Rescue to four other departments in all corners of the province, these various departments will receive 8 new sets of bunker gear, a Jaws of Life, a water tender, portable safety lights, and 30 sets of high visibility coveralls. It’s a well spent $50,000 if it helps keep the ones who volunteer to serve their communities safe.
It was 2008 when I created Jenny’s Heroes, offering everyday people up to $25,000 to spend to benefit their communities.
My first hero was Travis Wiersma.
Travis was a night janitor at Madison Area Technical College (MATC) in Wisconsin and he requested $25,000 to provide new training equipment for the nursing program. Today, Travis is battling cancer and I just want to share his story so the world can see what a special person this is and what a difference he made with his gift.
I chose Travis from over 2,000 applicants. In his application he wrote: “i clean at night and thier is one program at the school that could use some help with upgrads the nures program..all the stuff they use looks like from the 60&70.it would be a dream too see the staff teach the stundents with state of art stuff,this would help the stundents,by the time they pass the corse,they would be able to use state of art stuff.when the get into the real world..then next year there would be new stundents ready to learn..this would go on for ever” His grammar wasn’t perfect but his idea was.
Travis bought the school $25,000 worth of new equipment!
~ He was on the news and featured in the local paper.
~ He was the guest of honor at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand re-opening.
~ He got a standing ovation from over 150 faculty and staff at the school.
~ He got a plaque installed in his honor.
~ He was congratulated by the MATC’s Dean of Health, Dr. Sido.
Over 250 registered nurses and over 1,000 nursing assistants graduate every year from MATC and his gift will be in use for years to come, ultimately helping many thousands of healthcare workers as they head into the workforce. Travis’s proud mom, Sandy, who also worked at MATC, was there for the grand re-opening, taking this photo with her son.
Travis said, “I was just shocked to be selected. I never thought I would be one of Jenny’s Heroes. It’s an awesome feeling. I know my dream will be helping many nursing students coming in and it will just keep revolving. It will be a gift that keeps on giving. As for me, this experience has changed my life.”
Travis’s grandmother was a nurse, his mother worked at MATC for 17 years, and his grandfather worked at the school for 35 years until his retirement, which makes his donation even more personal.
Congratulations to the volunteer firefighters at the Suisun Fire Protection District in Fairfield, California, one of five California Fire Departments to receive Jenny’s Heroes California grants today. The 40 volunteers at Suisun are receiving $25,000 to purchase new turnout gear. The other four departments will be getting new radios, self-contained breathing apparatuses, a portable water tank, and a radio repeater system with solar panels. It’s all about keeping them safe.
This is the first of my grants for the heroes who volunteer to serve their communities in my home state of California. To see more on these grants or to send them your love, click here.
I’m excited to share my second grant program for volunteer fire departments, this time in my home state of California. I’m offering $50,000 in grants to provide safety equipment for the small volunteer departments throughout the state.
Having seen my share of fires in California, some of them visible from my house, I’m always in awe of the bravery and commitment our firefighters make to save lives and property. This is my way to say thank you. For more on Jenny’s Heroes California, click here.
Hey, who wants to put on 75 pounds of equipment and go into a house on fire? No? Well these people, and many others, actually volunteer to do it for the good of their community. That’s why I am driven to help.
I just revealed the six winners of my second series of grants to Ontario’s volunteer firefighters. Pictured above is the team from the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock who will receive a fire suppression kit. Five other departments will be receiving a radio repeater, vehicle stabilization kit, thermal imaging cameras, and AED, gas detectors, and tablets for fire trucks. It’s my first of three grant opportunities this year.
It’s a privilege to do my part to help keep these volunteers safe and to help them provide the best service to their communities. To see all the winners or to send them a message, just go to JennysHeroesCanada.com.