The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) kicks off more than 2,000 Fill the Boot fundraising events for 2022 on National Boot Day. 

These events support research, care, and advocacy for more than 300,000 families nationwide living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. Online donations will continue, even as fire fighters once again take to the streets in communities across the country with boots in hand asking pedestrians, motorists, customers, and other passersby to support the mission.

The partnership between MDA and IAFF spans 68 years, beginning in 1954 when the IAFF signed a proclamation designating MDA its charity of choice and vowing to continue raising awareness and funds until cures are found. To date, fire fighters nationwide have raised $679 million over nearly seven decades. In the past seven years, these funds have led in part to 15 new FDA-approved treatments for neuromuscular diseases and access to treatments and care from day one through newborn screening in many states across the country for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and Pompe disease. 

“Traditions are at the heart of the fire service, and MDA’s ‘Fill the Boot,’ which the IAFF began in Boston over 60 years ago, is very dear and personal to me. With gratitude for the trust of the MDA family, the IAFF is taking to the streets throughout the United States and Canada to ‘Fill the Boot’ once again. The pandemic has taken its toll on MDA fundraising, and we need to double our efforts,” says IAFF General President Edward Kelly. “The kids need us, and MDA is ringing the bell.”

“Our partners at IAFF have been a vital part of the MDA family in communities across America for decades. We are forever grateful to IAFF for maintaining their strong commitment to the Fill the Boot program,” says Donald S. Wood, PhD, President and CEO of MDA. “Thanks to fire fighters filling the boot for decades, the pipeline of promise is growing and creating hope a longer, more independent life for the millions of people and their families who are at the heart of MDA’s mission.” 

[Source(s): Muscular Dystrophy Association, PR Newswire]