MINNEAPOLIS — First responders are always putting their lives on the line for us, and now they need our help. Firefighters for Healing is stuck in a tough spot and they're also up against a deadline.
If you're not familiar, Firefighters for Healing does some extra special work. They help children who are burn survivors, they run a camp to let them be with other kids like them, and they help first responders regardless of their problems.
“If you're a first responder, and you've fallen on hard times, and need help. If you're coming to the Twin Cities and need care for any reason, cancer, car accident, broken leg, whatever it might be, you come and knock on our door and we're going to be there for you," says Chris Dunker, Board Chair.
Right now, Firefighters for Healing has five apartments in Minneapolis that people can stay in, but they have bigger goals.
"To open a Transitional Healing Center that's kind of like a Ronald McDonald House but for first responders and burn victims and their families,” says Dunker.
Twelve apartments for families to use at no cost. It took four years to find the right project and property just one block from Hennepin County Medical Center.
“We’ll have a lot more than just 12 apartments. It's going to be a full healing center so we'll have common areas for families to get together, we'll have conference rooms, we'll have some office space for other non-profits to come in and provide services to these first responders that are coming through our doors,” he says.
The project breaks ground on April 15. One problem; COVID-19 canceled their gala and biggest fundraiser last year.
“We're in a tough spot where we need to come up with a $1.5 million-down payment, and we have about 1.2 million of it, which leaves about a $300,000 gap," Dunker says.
If they miss the deadline, they can't be part of the project, a 10-story building that will go up on the site. So now, they need us.
“In order to show how important this is, I've personally decided that I'm going to match any donation, up to $20,000, that comes in over the next three months,” says Dunker.
First responders are not used to asking for help, but here we are, and they're hoping you'll return the favor.
You can donate online, or send a check to their P.O. Box.
Firefighters for Healing
PO Box 374, Champlin, MN 55316