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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Fire Department Gets Special Note and Donation from Boy: 'The Smallest Gesture Can Mean the World'

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Not everyone has a platform from which to help millions of people or funds to help end world hunger — but everyone has the capacity to make the world a little better.

Jackson Gilchrist from Salem, New Hampshire, is in fifth grade, and he now knows about the power even a small, heartfelt gesture can have on a community.

Jackson told Fox News that he learned about first responders’ jobs at school and was touched by their dedication. He took it upon himself to write a letter to the Salem Fire Department and include $11 from his piggy bank.

“Dear Firefighters,” the letter began. “Thank you for your service. Thank you for protecting our town and puting out all of the fires and saving our lives. From, Jackson Gilchrist.”

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“This is from my money to you guys” was written at the bottom corner of the page, complete with an arrow indicating the location of the cash.

Only telling his parents that he needed a ride to the fire station to deliver a letter, Jackson completed his mission quietly — but the response has been anything but.

“THANK YOU!” the Salem Fire Department posted on Facebook. “On Monday night at the Board of Selectmen meeting, SFD had the great pleasure of introducing Jackson Gilchrist, who was there with his parents Dayna & Stuart and brother Cole.”

“When Jackson wrote the letter, he wanted to thank the Firefighters of SFD for protecting our Town, putting out fires, and saving lives here in Salem. Just those sentences alone are heartwarming to the Salem Fire Department members, but the fact that Jackson included his own $11.00 is above and beyond. Jackson can see what SFD is all about: helping others when we serve and protect this Town’s residents and its visitors every day, 24 hours a day.”

“I think we can applaud services, such as the annual Fire Prevention program, coupled with the strong educational environment in this Town. Salem students are taught firsthand the importance of fire safety and what it means to be a firefighter.

“And let us not forget the crucial role families play in shaping children’s understanding of safety and those who serve.

“Jackson’s simple gesture is really not so simple — it reminds each one of us what it means to be a member of the fire service: the smallest gesture can mean the world to another.”

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Jackson’s kindness was reciprocated with the fire department’s attention, including Salem Fire apparel and an offer of potential future employment should he decide to become a firefighter.

The boy seemed pretty overwhelmed by all the notice he’s received, telling Fox News half-jokingly, “I didn’t think I would go on live TV.”

His mother confirmed that the original idea was all Jackson’s and shared the fire department’s post on her page, writing, “Very proud mama.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking