Fayetteville ‘junior junior’ firefighter raises money to donate lunches for first responders

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With the onset of the coronavirus, first responders are taking extra precautions in anticipation of dealing with patients stricken with the virus. York Daily Record

Beckett Loucks, a self-proclaimed “junior junior firefighter,” has been doing his part during the pandemic to show appreciation for the first responder community.

Loucks, 8, from Fayetteville, started a donation fund to buy lunches for police officers, firefighters, EMTs and medical staff in his area, according to his mother, Brittany West.

“He just likes helping the community,” she said.

And with the help of his community, Beckett has raised over $1,000 in just a few days with the help of social media.

“I was really proud of him because he’s not just doing it for something to do, he’s doing it because his heart is calling him to do that,” West said. 

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Since the spread of the coronavirus, West said Beckett has been bummed out because he hasn’t been allowed to visit his favorite fire departments. 

Beckett loves to visit his dad and step-dad – both volunteer firefighters at Wrightsville Fire & Rescue Company 41 and Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department, respectively. 

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“He’s kind of sad because he hasn’t been able to go to the fire department and is used to be there all the time,” she said. “But he’s been playing fireman outside of the house and he started working on this project.”

On Wednesday, Beckett and his mom delivered lunch to Fayetteville EMS, Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg barracks and South Mount Fire Department.

They also planned to deliver to hospitals and nursing homes staff this week.

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The duo worked with Fayetteville restaurant, Maria & Sal’s, who were more than happy to help out, according to owner Maria Grigoli.

“I was very privileged to be part of Brittany and Beckett’s fundraiser because we are a part of helping out the local community as much as we can,” she said. “They work hard for what they do to help out everybody out there, so we always like to give them a good meal and a good deal.”

Maria & Sal’s, co-owned by a local couple, has been a staple in the community for years.

“They work really well with the community to begin with, so that’s why we chose them,” West said.

The reception from first responders was nothing short of thankful, according to Corporal Benjamin Frantz with the Pennsylvania State Police.

“By having an eight-year-old take that initiative and be so caring for those that are putting in countless hours to help their community, it’s nice to have a child like that show their appreciation,” he said. “That right there is why – whether you’re a police officer or trooper, firefighter or paramedic – that’s why we do what we do, for little boys like that.”

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Beckett is looking forward to continuing his efforts for as long as possible.

“We’re going to continue to do it until we’re out of money or until this virus is done spreading through the area and people can go back to their daily life,” West said. “But as long as we have money, we will deliver every day to the places that we can.”

And those deliveries will continue to spark smiles in such uncertain times.

“For dealing with doom and gloom all the time, it definitely puts a lot of smiles on our faces,” Frantz said.

If you would like to donate to Beckett’s project, visit https://paypal.me/pools/c/8nRox5bwmZ.

Carley Bonk is a Watchdog Reporter for the Chambersburg Public Opinion. She can be reached at cbonk@publicopinionnews.com or on Twitter at @carls_marie.

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