SIDNEY — The local Firehouse Subs franchise will participate in a drive, Aug. 4, to provide bottled water to Sidney’s first responders.
Franchisee Tom Martin, of Sidney, said H2O for Heroes is an annual event in all Firehouse Subs restaurants.
From 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Aug. 4, anyone who delivers an unopened case of 24 bottles of water to a Firehouse Subs eatery will receive a free, medium-sized sub sandwich. The Sidney restaurant is at 2034 W. Michigan St.
Water collected there will be given to the Sidney Fire Department for use by firefighters when they are on the scene of a fire.
“Each store tries to give to local heroes,” Martin said. His other restaurant, in suburban Cincinnati, delivered 30 cases of water at the close of the program in 2017.
“We definitely go through a lot of water here,” said Sidney firefighter Lt. Jason Truesdale. “The water is stored at Station 1. Every truck has coolers. When we return (from a fire), the coolers get filled again. We do that daily.”
To promote the project, there are posters displayed in the restaurant and each customer in the last few weeks has been given a flier.
“We try to get to as many people as possible,” Martin said.
Water donors can choose any type of sub sandwich they like. And they can donate any size or type of bottled water.
“It’s a really good deal,” Martin said, noting that there are places where a case of water sells for about $3. Medium subs cost $6.29 to $6.99 each.
The restaurant chain was founded by Chris and Robin Sorensen in Jacksonville, Florida. Former firefighters themselves, they and their franchisees have developed a corporate culture of supporting first responders. The Firehouse Public Safety Foundation gives millions of dollars annually to first responder departments around the country. The Sorensens support the foundation, but so do Firehouse Subs customers. They drop their spare change into boxes near the cash register, round up their tabs, buy pickle buckets and donate online.
Since the Sidney store opened in December 2017, it has sent $5,000 in customer donations to the foundation. Police, fire and EMS departments can apply to the foundation for grants to purchase equipment.
“Having them in our city and their way of giving back is phenomenal. I think it’s neat to have them here in Sidney,” said Truesdale.
Martin and his wife, Becky, also donate in other ways. This week, the local restaurant provided 600 plastic “fire helmets” for children attending Kids Day at the Shelby County Fair.
They hope the H2O for Heroes drive will be successful here. It’s quite likely they’ll see some first responders in their restaurant that day. Truesdale said his fellow firefighters love Firehouse Subs sandwiches.
“I’m probably going to go there, Aug. 4, and take a case of water, myself,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.