HOUSTON - A first-grader is on a mission to serve every Houston firefighter.
It started when she noticed her mother taking Gatorade to her firefighter uncle every summer. The 6-year-old wondered why all firefighters did not get sports drinks?
Kylee Walkingstick loves to give and call her own shots. However, she still needs help from mom at times.
“Mission Hydrate Houston,” though, is Walkingstick’s baby. In one week, she raised enough money to serve Fifth Ward firefighters some much needed electrolyte-loaded sports drinks that they normally have to buy.
“I want to show support and respect,” she said.
“There’s a lot of political things going on in the fire department right now as you’ve touched on: our pensions, our contracts all those things,” said District Chief David Elliott. “This just kind of sweeps all that away.”
In between painting, Kylee visits her uncle’s station which lost two firefighters in the line of duty four years ago.
HFD supplies drinking water to firefighters. However, they usually have to buy their own sports drinks.
Kylee and her mom, Laura, started collecting donations for her uncle’s station three years ago. However, this summer Kylee demanded more. Mom could not say no.
“I did not want to plant the seed that just because it’s too hard that she can’t do it,” said Laura Walkingstick.
So, they partnered with Houston’s “Firefighters Helping Firefighters” charity. They usually focus on crisis.
“(But) what can you say when you’re asked to do this,” said Al Goebel, a board member for Firefighters Helping Firefighters. “It’s a win situation for us.”
They helped Walkingstick craft a fundraising website then posted a link on the charity’s website.
Kylee has a long way to go to reach her goal, but she’s well on her way.
“She’s only six,” said Laura. “She just had an idea and look what’s happened now.”
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