As a firefighter I see first-hand the devastating effects that fires have on people and families. Lost homes, lost memories and sometimes burn injuries result in emotional and physical scars that can last a lifetime. The San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation is a volunteer/non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting burn survivors in the Bay Area. The Burn Foundation helps burn survivors bridge the gap between hospital care and rebuilding their lives.
Donations to the Foundation go to a variety of areas to support burn survivors. From purchasing burn garments and reducing scars, to their annual Burn Camp for youth that allows young survivors feel comfortable and safe among their peers. In addition, each year the foundation sponsors survivors to attend local and national conferences all over the country.
One of the most inspiring nights of my life is when I attended my first San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation Gala. This annual event is a fundraiser that celebrates the courageous recoveries of burn survivors throughout the Bay Area. It pays tribute to the doctors, nurses, family and friends who help victims overcome their life-threatening injuries. Listening to the remarkable stories from survivors was a true testament to the strength and perseverance of the human spirit. It impacted my life and redefined my definition of courage, determination, resiliency and healing.
The raw emotion I felt at this amazing event, left me only wanting to help more, which is why I'm proud that Paul's Firehouse Granola is supporting these survivors through a $1,500 donation to the San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation.
“In 2006, I was involved in a terrible accident that resulted in me suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns to 30% of my body. My life changed in an instant. I went from looking forward to my sophomore year in college to feeling devastated, scared and uncertain about my future.
From the moment I was taken to the VMC Burn Unit I was part of the San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation Family.
The dedication, support and compassion the foundation selflessly shared with me and my family gave hope and healing to the most challenging time of my life.”
— Paige Lawson, Burn Survivor
"Burns are different. Burns are forever. Many of the burn survivors we support are now friends and family. As members of the Burn Foundation, we support prevention, education and recovery. We take no salary. We do this work because we believe in the strength of the human spirit."
— Mike Moses, Executive Board San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation
"What I love most about Burn Camp is seeing kids feel accepted for often the first time since being burned. Most of these kids worry about getting teased or not fitting in at their schools. At Burn Camp, these kids are just like everyone else, and they're allowed to just be a kid.
So many kids open up emotionally at Burn Camp because it is the one place where they find other kids their own age, with whom they can share their experience - and the bonds they form with each other in just one weekend can last a lifetime.”
— Dan Vega, President San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation