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Oklahoma City firefighters expecting decline in ‘Fill the Boot’ donations due to new ordinance

OKLAHOMA CITY – Summer is just around the corner, so a few national campaigns are kicking off this time of year.

Officials with the Oklahoma City Fire Department say firefighters will soon be standing on curbs to collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign.

However, local firefighters say a new city ordinance may negatively affect how much money they raise for people in need.

In 2016, the city adopted a panhandling ordinance that prevents pedestrians from stepping off of the curb as they collect money.

Fire officials say that they will be stationed at the same intersections as in the past, but they will not be able to go into the street to collect money.

“Each year, it is truly a labor of love and an incredible honor for our firefighters to assist with such a worthy cause,” said Keith Bryant, Fire Chief of the Oklahoma City Fire Department.  “We respectfully request the cooperation of our extremely generous citizens as they see us around the city this year.  Please understand that we are not able to step into the street to retrieve your donations.  To help make this another successful year, we ask that motorists approach us on the inside lane so that our firefighters can accept their donations without stepping off of the curb.”

Since firefighters won’t be able to collect from drivers in the second and third lanes, they will also be virtually collecting donations through a text-to-donate program and the virtual ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign.

To donate via text, simply text BOOT32 to 71777.

To donate through the virtual ‘fill the boot’ campaign, visit the MDA’s website.