After a couple years on hiatus, Tulsa firefighters will return to "Fill the Boot" Thursday to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
A city ordinance has prevented the Tulsa Fire Department since 2018 from collecting donations in the roadways or medians. This year, donations will mostly be online, but firefighters will be at LaFortune Park Thursday if you want to stop by and help Fill the Boot.
Every year since the 1950's, Tulsa firefighters take to the streets to raise money for those suffering from muscular dystrophy and similar diseases.
Across the U.S., firefighters raise $25 million every year for the MDA. During this pandemic, hitting that amount will be much tougher.
MDA Regional Manager Becky Prine said as a non-profit, it's been harder to raise money when so many families are struggling.
"Everyone has been impacted in some way by COVID-19, in our homes and in our businesses, and with our kids," Prine said.
In a typical year, they'd raise around $200,000. This year, they hope they can raise $30,000.
"It stays local, so all the money that's given by the citizens of Tulsa stays right here in Green Country to help out our families," TFD District Chief Chad Miller said.
Miller said they worked with Tulsa County to put on Fill the Boot this year. He said they're looking for creative ways to continue holding it in the future, due to the panhandling ordinance that's barred them from collecting donations from road medians since 2018.
Prine said despite this year's obstacles, they're pushing forward for the families that the MDA helps.
"Our families are counting on us, we have important research going on in our care centers and we just are trying to do everything we can to continue the funding," Prine said.
Tulsa firefighters will be here in this parking lot at LaFortune Park from 7am to 6:30pm. This is on Yale Avenue near 61St Street.
To donate online and learn more about Fill the Boot, visit the website here.