Newsline 9 is proud to be part of the national Jefferson Awards. They date back to 1972 and honor volunteers working for change in their local communities.
Jim Luedtke of Kronenwetter has made volunteering a way of life. He'll tell you it's worth it.
The Kronenwetter Fire Department is made up of volunteers who are often called on to help people in trouble. Jim is one of the department volunteers. Recently he worked to get a railroad company truck donated to the department. As Jim said,"When you get something like this, you can't say no."
Jim's volunteer efforts go far beyond the firehouse walls. "There's many people out there that need help and it's only getting worse," he said.
The challenging economy has this firefighter doing what he can to help.
Every year he organizes a holiday food drive, calling on area businesses to give money or donate food to feed the needy.
"Normally, I take off two weeks of vacation to try to help people I don't even know and that's what this is all about," said Jim.
It takes a lot of work to organize donations and deliveries. The effort continues to grow, helping 170 families this year. Those families appreciate the gifts.
Those selfless efforts are why Jim is being honored with a Jefferson Award.