GREAT FALLS — On Saturday, Great Falls Fire Rescue hosted its first-ever “Fill The Stutz” event - community members were asked to fill the vintage 1924 fire engine with new blankets to help those less fortunate stay warm during the frigid and long winter.
Event organizers Kristen Loney and Adell Bleskin came up with the idea in both their work and experiences with younger children.
"Kristen spends a lot of time in the school systems with her kids and has a lot of involvement with the schools, so she knows of kids coming to school, having slept in their coats,” says Adell.
Adell works as a consultant for children’s protection, so welfare is consistently on her mind. After collecting donations for the day, the firefighters will distribute the blankets to families in need within the community.
“We see a lot of children and even adults who are heating their houses in some unsafe ways, using space heaters or using their oven. So these blankets are to help keep them warm in the winter months,” says firefighter Caleb Perry.
Both Kristen and Adell say the support from the community has been resounding, especially for the events first year, which they hope to continue. Adell told me that they had one donor who was willing to spend her hard-earned work bonus on blankets for the cause, before her husband said they could afford it.
“The community support has been amazing and so far we've had so many people dropping blankets by or Venmo us enough money to pick up blankets for them. It's been really awesome,” says Kristen.
The next “Fill The Stutz” event will be held at Fire Station #1 on December 10th from 10am until 1pm. For more information, call GFFR at 406-727-8070.
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