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Firefighters collecting boot drive donations for burn survivors this week
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Gainesville Fire Department members are kicking off a boot drive this week to raise money for the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Firefighters will collect donations at different storefronts for the “Give Burns the Boot” drive that helps burn survivors and funds awareness initiatives. The officers will be out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“We can only man about four locations due to manpower,” Division Chief Keith Smith wrote in an email. “We do, however, want to let people know that they can drop it by the station as well.”

Smith said the department raised $10,788.89 in 2015 for the burn foundation, a drop from the $12,694.12 collected in 2014.

Funds raised will also go to Camp Oo-U-La, a summer program “exclusively for burn-injured children,” Smith said. The division chief said 70 kids attended last year’s camp.

“The campers experience an entire week where they get to feel like kids again, regardless of their physical features,” Smith said in a news release.

Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Gainesville Fire Department.

“By supporting the boot drive, the public is also supporting their local fire department and their own community,” Smith said in a news release.

The Gainesville Fire Department headquarters is at 725 Pine St. in Gainesville.