CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – They spend days out in the elements to keep your community safe, and now a local woman is giving back to area firefighters. It’s something they’ve grown to look forward to.
Paying for snacks, water, and uniform cleaning can quickly add up for fire departments, especially those that are volunteer, but a Cumberland County woman is lending a helping hand.
“It’s more than just the snacks. It’s the thank you,” said Paula Gribble, president of Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats.
Paula Gribble donates cases of water, bags filled with sweet and salty snacks, and free dry cleaning to more than two dozen fire companies in Cumberland, Dauphin, and northern York Counties.
The companies receive gift certificates, and the employees at Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats clean them. Gribble owns the company. She got the idea after a fire company asked her if she could give them a discount to clean their uniforms.
Gribble donated the items to the Union Fire Company #1 in Carlisle Saturday.
“I’m checking it out. I’m making sure someone doesn’t take the peanut butter,” said Amy Myers, president of the Union Fire Company #1.
Myers enjoyed a peanut butter granola bar after heading out on a call. She says the water will last her company for about a month.
“We want to show them that we appreciate what they do every single day,” Gribble said. “We want to help in some sort of way, and the free cleaning is a way that we can help. We save them about $15 to $20 for every uniform that’s cleaned.”
Fire companies estate the water, goody bags, and free dry cleaning saves them around $3,000 a year. Gribble says she spends around $12,000 on water, $6,000 on goody bags, and $50,000 worth of dry cleaning for the community each year.
“Sometimes you wonder are you really appreciated for what you do? When things like this happen, you know you are,” Myers said. “It’s great. It’s nice. It makes you feel really good, and it just kind of reinforces why we do this.”
“The communities need to step up and meet their local fire departments, meet the people serving, and find a way to give back,” Gribble said.
Gribble encourages you to visit your local fire department and say, “Thank you,” to firefighters.