The Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation announced that it is awarding a grant to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to support its National Junior Firefighter Program. The grant builds on the success of a grant in 2008 which resulted in 520 junior firefighter programs and 275 junior firefighters registering with the national program.
Through the grant, the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation will continue to work with the NVFC, an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the volunteer fire and emergency service departments that serve the majority of America. The grant will help the NVFC expand its National Junior Firefighter Program, which provides resources and tools to departments and youth to help them develop, maintain, expand, and participate in a local junior firefighter program. The Program is also supported by Spartan Motors, Inc. and Baskin-Robbins. With the help of the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation in 2009, the NVFC will award $5,000 grants to 10 fire departments to help them start a junior firefighter program or improve an existing program.
“The National Junior Firefighter Program prepares tomorrow’s fire service leaders. The number of volunteer firefighters has declined by 7 percent over the last two decades, and the support from the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation is vitally important as we work to reverse this trend,” said Heather Schafer, executive director of the National Volunteer Fire Council. “Last year we saw the difference this program can make, so we are thrilled to be able to continue its progress in 2009.”
The Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation serves the emergency response community before and after disaster strikes. The grant to the NVFC is one of four grants given by the Foundation in 2009. The other organizations receiving grants include Do Something, Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), and Home for Our Troops. Through the grants, the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation will help the organizations create or improve existing emergency preparedness programs.
“The grant to the National Volunteer Fire Council is a perfect example of our mission to help our communities be better prepared before disaster strikes,” said Paul Leech, co-chairman of the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation and chief administrative officer of Dunkin’ Brands. “Through this grant, we are going to help address a growing threat to our communities – the shortage of volunteer firefighters. By getting youth involved in the fire system, we believe we can make a difference in the long-term.”
The Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation selected the National Volunteer Fire Council for its grant based on the worthiness of the cause and the ability to involve Dunkin’ Brands’ thousands of franchisees in supporting the cause in their local markets. With this grant, local franchisees and Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins stores will have an opportunity to support emergency responders in their own community.
“One of the most exciting things about the grant to the National Volunteer Fire Council is its potential to get all of our employees involved,” said Stephan Shelton, co-chairman of the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation and a franchisee of both Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. “Franchisees and crew members can lend a hand to help young people in their markets. It’s just another way for Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins stores to play a role in serving their communities.”
The Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation brings together a wide network of stakeholders, including our Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchisees, crew members and employees, to support the service and leadership of emergency response organizations – especially in times of crisis. The Foundation supports emergency responders by providing financial assistance, building capacity, developing partnerships, encouraging volunteerism and honoring local heroes. To learn more about the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation, please visit www.dunkinbrands.com/foundation.