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Grab your wallet: Firefighters are out collecting for the Crusade

COVID might have put a halt to their efforts last year, but as restrictions lift, some departments are once again hitting the streets with the well-known boot.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 68th annual WHAS Crusade for Children is about a week away.

It’s the heart and soul of this community when it comes to providing for kids with special need and we couldn’t do it without our firefighters from across Kentuckiana. 

COVID might have put a halt to their efforts last year, but as restrictions lift, some departments are once again hitting the streets with the well-known boot.

“When you see the kids you’re helping, it gives you that feeling of, this is why we do it," Pleasure Ridge Fire Protection District Major Joseph Bowman said.

Last year, the Crusade brought in $4.8 million, more than half of which was collected by fire departments from around Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

“It’s cool when you see the equipment that says, this was donated by the Crusade for Children," Bowman said. "It’s great. It’s like, this is why we’re out here."

WHAS11 News doing an interview with Major Bowman for the WHAS Crusade for Children. #PRPFIRE #WHASCrusade Don't forget you can donate online at our secure payment site: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/pfd

Posted by Pleasure Ridge Park Fire District - Official on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Many hit the pavement this week, asking for your money the old fashion way: face-to-face.

“I think we all miss that interaction and it’s going to be great, in my opinion," Maj. Bowman said.

Photos of road blocks, drive thrus and firefighters walking through neighborhoods is flooding social media feeds, from Clarksville to Shelbyville, Zoneton and Woodford County.

Maj. Bowman says if you see a fire truck headed down your street going extremely slow, grab your wallet.

“This year we’re going to drive through all the neighborhoods and encourage all the homeowners to come out to our apparatus and give donations that way," Bowman said.

PRP’s averaged about $250,000 most years, but took in about $77,000 last year. This time around, they hope to double that.

Zoneton Fire District's looking to do the same.

We are getting ready to go!! Crusade for Children activities start this Thursday with Roadblock...

Posted by Zoneton Fire Protection District on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

“We’re collecting in memory of Chief Rob Orkies and Battalion Chief Gary Key. Those two were huge in the Crusade," Capt. Steven Corbin, with Zoneton Fire said.

The department lost both of them to COVID-19 less than 2 months apart, but they remain the driving force for collections this year.

Zoneton’s bringing back the roadblocks and going door-to-door in neighborhoods.

“We’ve had a lot of people reach out and want us to come, so we’re going to do that in a safe manner," Corbin said. “Chief Orkies always had a goal of $100,000 so we hope people will dig a little deeper and help us reach that goal.”

The need is great this year, and every penny counts. Please help us PASS the BOOT & FILL the BOOT. 100% for the kids!...

Posted by WHAS Crusade for Children on Thursday, May 13, 2021


Donate By phone

Call 502-582-7706, leave your name and number, someone will get back to you.

Donate by Mail

Even though our office is closed for now during the pandemic, we are able to access our mail.
Send your donation to:
WHAS Crusade for Children
520 W. Chestnut St.
Louisville, KY 40202.
Please be sure to make note if the donation is in honor or memory of someone or if you’d like to give credit to a certain fire department.

Donate Securely Online

Give online safely and securely. There is a section where someone can honor/memorialize a loved one or credit a fire department.

Text to Donate

Supporters can now text CRUSADE to 50155 to complete a donation. There is the ability to honor a fire department on the donation link.


Venmo a donation to @CrusadeForChildren. You can credit your fire department in the comments section.

Cash App

Just like Venmo, use Cash App and make a secure donation to $CrusadeChildren. You can credit your fire dept. in the notes section.


If you use PayPal, you can use it to donate to the WHAS Crusade for Children!


If you have an Amazon smart device, just say, “Alexa, donate to the Crusade for Children…” and Alexa will walk you through your secure donation, charging it to your card on file with Amazon.

Donate via Facebook

Go to the Crusade’s Facebook page to donate securely online. Facebook does not keep any fees for a charitable donation!

Donations are tax deductible

The WHAS Crusade for Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Gifts are tax deductible as permitted by law. EIN #23-7075524.


Contact reporter Brooke Hasch at bhasch@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Hasch) and Facebook 

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