Fighting Fires, Hunger and Homelessness: The Dedicated Dearborn Heights Fire Department

Apr 14, 2021

The Dearborn Heights Fire Department has supported The Salvation Army for nearly ten years, dating back to 2012 – which is when they first got together to ring bells for the annual Red Kettle Campaign. The group has volunteered every year since then, usually on the weekend before Christmas.  

“That’s usually the busiest bellringing weekend of the season,” says Stefano Dedonatis, a loyal Salvation Army volunteer since 2005. “It’s a lot of fun, and we have a really good time when we’re out there, wearing all of our gear and ringing the bells. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the community, and it’s something everybody enjoys.”

Stefano started to notice The Salvation Army’s presence when he was a firefighter in Northville. He recalls seeing trucks from the Emergency Disaster Services team at the scene of many fires and emergency situations, and always appreciated they took the time to give him something warm to drink.

“I eventually called The Salvation Army to ask about becoming a volunteer, and I’ve been doing it ever since – first during my time as a firefighter in Northville, and now with the team in Dearborn Heights.”

These days, in addition to serving as volunteer bellringers, the Dearborn Heights Fire Department also runs a program through its union called Operation WARM – a program that provides children winter coats – and, in turn, helps The Salvation Army’s annual Coats for Kids drive.

April 2021 is Volunteer Month. All month long, The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division recognizes, celebrates and thanks its incredible volunteers for their commitment, dedication and support to help Do The Most Good.

Learn more about the wide variety of volunteer opportunities at The Salvation Army. 


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