ABILENE, Texas — Members of the Abilene, Abilene Regional Airport and Dyess fire departments are teaming up with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for its annual Fill the Boot campaign. Firefighters will be at both Abilene Walmart locations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday to collect donations.

Funds raised during the three-day campaign go toward MDA’s summer camp for children, research initiatives, local clinics and support groups in the Big Country. Every dollar raised will go directly to children and adults in the Abilene and Big Country area that are affected by neuromuscular diseases.

For firefighters, Fill the Boot is a chance to help children and adults living with neuro-muscular diseases, as well as giving them a chance to positively interact with Abilene residents while not dealing with an emergency response.

Fill the Boot started in 1952, when a father in need of help for his child with muscular dystrophy went to the International Association of Firefighters member George Graney’s Fire Engine Company 1 in south Boston. IAFF Local 718 rounded up to 20 firefighters and started a door-to-door canister drive that raised $5,000. In 1953, Graney launched a citywide fundraising campaign with the help of Boston firefighters. Since then, firefighters world-wide have continued the tradition.