At least seven U.S. cities and counties have stopped firefighters from collecting charitable donations at busy intersections citing safety concerns.
For nearly 61 years, career and volunteer firefighters around the country have participated in “Fill-the-Boot” roadside charity campaigns, often around the Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends. They raise money, while on duty and in their firefighting gear, by asking passing motorists and pedestrians to contribute to various charities. More than 100,000 firefighters raise about $25 million a year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, for example.
“There are no greater heroes than these firefighters,” says MDA spokeswoman Roxan Olivas.
But traffic and safety concerns, including the death of a firefighter in Michigan, have spurred cities to re-evaluate or halt such fundraising methods.