Making a Difference


I want to thank Mr. De La Peņa (fire fighter officer)
and "Todo Palomar" magazine for the photo
and their amiability.

I would like to suggest that people remember to support their local organizations, especially their volunteer fire fighters. There are many in and around Buenos Aires where I live, all volunteers. One of the fire stations is two blocks from my home, and they do very hard work every day, all without pay. It's hard and dangerous work. Unfortunately, I experienced this first hand when I was in a car accident only a block from my home. I was hit by an old Ford Falcon, a very strong, very heavy car... terrible. It was at night but the Ford didn't have its lights on, and the driver was driving much over the speed limit for a town. He was driving at 80-100 km/hr, so he didn't see my car and couldn't stop. He was a kind of "criminal" because his little sons and wife were also in his car! The fire fighters took me and my mum out of the car immediately. I never could have gotten out so quickly without them!! They were so kind and friendly to me when I had the accident, and while we were waiting for the ambulance. They are an important part of our community. On Christmas Eve, the whole team goes around my town with a Papā Noel (Santa Claus). He wears a fire fighter helmet in red, and rides on top of the fire truck, and waves. It's a funny scene and enjoyed by children, mainly, but also by me! They are funny, and truly important and underappreciated heroes. Many times people wonder about their contributions if they can't see where their money goes, but it is very important that we can "see" how they use the money that we give as regular contributions, because we can see how the fire station has grown, and the new trucks they bought. It's just a small example, but I think everyone would have a place to contribute to in their home towns... a fire department, a hospital, a library, a church. The big national organizations get much press, but these small and nearby ones are more needed, you know. Don't forget the modest, small charities near your home. The smallest contribution is important for them. Watch around your neighbourhood and you'll find something important to do! -- Marcela

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