Firefighters do a lot more than fight fires.
On any given day, Montecito Fire’s 33 active duty firefighters wake up to uncertainty, not knowing what emergency they will respond to next: trail rescues, sickness, trauma, structure or brush fires, mud flows, or even threats of a global pandemic.
They are always there, and it is for this reason that we trust them with our lives. For the same reason, you can trust the Montecito Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation with your money.
Founded in 2006, the foundation’s board is fully comprised of active duty firefighters whose mission is to “provide relief to the poor, disadvantaged, underprivileged, disaster victims and those facing emergency hardship situations based upon need (financial or other distress) at the time the assistance is given, specifically as related to children, firefighters and their families, and burn victims and their families.” With a minimal annual overhead of less than $15,000 for legal, accounting, and other administrative costs, virtually every dollar the foundation receives goes straight towards helping people.
“We’re just firefighters,” says Aaron Briner, a founding board member and a department Battalion Chief. “We don’t know marketing. But we do know how to work really hard and mitigate your emergency.”
As a charitable foundation, the Montecito Firefighters’ Charitable Foundation knows how to do one thing very well – issue responsive grants that deeply impact individuals.
When 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed in an Arizona inferno, the foundation provided support to their families. Similarly for an engineer, Cory Iverson, who died in the Thomas Fire. When a local foster youth wrote a letter explaining that she needed help paying for college, the foundation set up a fund. And when a severely handicapped child needed a new wheelchair, the foundation footed the bill.
Like I said, firefighters – notably, your local Montecito firefighters – do much more than fight fires. The work of the foundation mirrors the work that they do every day: responding to whatever comes their way.
For the charitable board, the work they do with the foundation is an extension of what they do every day on the engines. “It is simply another avenue to help assist people in their time of need and something I can be part of long after I retire from the fire service,” says Briner.
Would you expect any less dedication from these public servants who put their lives on the line for this community every day?