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.”
“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.”
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.”