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Make Your Week: Paying tribute to those who help

By Jen Riess, | Posted - Sep. 18, 2019 at 9:41 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — The people who inspire us come from places we may never expect.

The "Make Your Week" column features uplifting stories sent in from people outside the newsroom.

In this edition, South Jordan firefighters show their appreciation to kids who raised money to support the department and ultimately helped other children. Also, a man pays special tribute to his childhood hero who led him to his passion.

Children raise money and get a surprise visit

"Every summer, children across the country set up lemonade stands to raise spending money for items such as toys or treats," read a South Jordan Fire Department press release. "This summer, the goal for three South Jordan children was slightly different. Makayla, Caden, and Brynnli approached their parents about raising money from a lemonade stand to donate to the South Jordan Fire Department."

“We were so thrilled that these kids wanted to give to support our mission in South Jordan,” said Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Lessner.

"After they raised $45 dollars in lemonade sales, their mother contacted the fire department asking how to donate the money," states the press release. "Because of their desire to support our firefighters, the South Jordan Fire Department wanted recognize and personally thank the family for their support."

“We had to do something to thank them for thinking of us, and their willingness to support the Fire Department,” Lessner said.

"Fire crews decided to show up to thank those kids with a big surprise – a fire engine roaring up in front of their house and the offer of a tour for them and their friends. Plus, they got to pass along to the kids how their donation would be spent. The fire department decided that it would match the donation to purchase stuffed animals for our fire engines, which will be used as a pick-me-up for children who may be sick or injured."

“Many of the emergency calls that our Firefighters and Paramedics respond to involve children,” Lessner said. “Providing sick or injured kids with a stuffed animal can be a small comforting measure during a difficult time.”

Bus driver honors the woman who helped him find his passion

"I always wanted to be a bus driver as a kid," said Joe in a Facebook post. "I finally have a bus of my own, and I named it after my elementary school bus driver."

"She was my hero, and was so good and patient for years to put up with an obnoxiously curious elementary school kid. Today, after many, many years, we were able to reconnect."

"It was a truly special day as we reminisced, and I got to show her my bus. I also got to take one last ride with her on the school bus. I wish her all the best as she retires this year!"

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