MEIGS COUNTY — After beginning in 2013 as a way to help the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office with the start of their K9 unit, Loyalty is Forever is expanding with its latest campaign.
“The Firehouse 12” campaign through Loyalty is Forever will benefit Meigs County’s 12 volunteer fire departments as they work to serve the residents of Meigs County.
“We have been talking for a couple of years about doing something for the fire departments,” said Tina Richards of Loyalty is Forever.
Richards and Lori Miller said that there was a time a year or so ago when the Rutland Volunteer Fire Department needed life jackets for water rescues.
“That’s what sparked the interest,” said Lori Miller. She explained that when Loyalty is Forever began it was about providing the sheriff’s office with a tool in their tool box that they needed and would otherwise not have been able to have.
Loyalty is Forever’s Lori and Shannon Miller met with the Meigs County Firefighter’s Association to learn more and to come up with ideas of ways to help.
Farmers Bank, Bartee Photography, Loyalty is Forever and Meigs County Firefighter’s Association President Derek Miller met to discuss ideas, and joined forces on the campaign for this year with producing a calendar.
The campaign goal is to raise $12,000, which would give each department $1,000. In order to reach this goal, the group has been working to put together a 2020 calendar which will soon be available for purchase for $12 ($1 for each department for each calendar sold).
In order for the entire purchase price of the calendar to benefit the departments, the Farmers Bank Board of Directors is paying for the cost of producing the calendars, while Brandon and Rana Bartee of Bartee Photography have taken the photos for the calendar.
In addition to photos representing each of the departments, the calendar will include important dates for each of the departments, as well as safety quotes and information.
“All 12 volunteer fire departments in Meigs County are honored to have the Loyalty is Forever group work with us on this fund raiser. Their group has done amazing work in our community with our law enforcement friends,” said Meigs County Firefighter Association President Derek Miller.
“With the continued support of Loyalty is Forever, along with that of the Farmers Bank Board of Directors, will allow the participating departments to continue providing the excellent service that our citizens have come to expect. These extra funds are definitely appreciated and we thank all citizens in advance for their purchase of the calendar,” said Derek Miller.
“They do so much, but ask for so little,” said Farmer Bank’s Dru Reed of the firefighters and the bank getting on board with the campaign.
Reed added that many people do not realize what all the firefighters do, putting their own lives on the line for the safety of their community. Volunteer firefighters answer calls for everything from fires to wrecks, water rescues, flood cleanup, search and rescue and much more.
While the money raised will be helpful to meet the needs of the departments as they work to serve their communities, Lori Miller noted that one of the main needs they found in meeting with the departments is the need for more volunteers.
“They need people. They have volunteers who have shown their dedication for a very long time and are still active,” said Miller. Many of those volunteers are multi-generational, having joined because their father, grandfather, uncle or another family member were on the department.
In addition to the calendars, there is currently a social media contest through the Loyalty is Forever Facebook page in which one fire department will receive and additional $500. To participate in voting, individuals can go to the Facebook page and find the post with the photos of the 12 fire departments (each one has its own photo). Simply “like” the photo which you want to vote for on the original post. Voting will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.
“This is our way of trying to say thank you,” said Lori Miller.
Local businesses interested in ordering in bulk to have available in their businesses may contact Tina Richards at 740-416-9073 or Lori Miller at 740-992-4156 in order to request a specific amount.
Donations for The Firehouse 12 campaign may be sent to Loyalty is Forever, c/o Farmers Bank with a note or memo stating that it is for The Firehouse 12 campaign.