Houston firefighter Brandon Schwartz was recently named Volunteer of the Year by the Fund. His continuing support of the organization includes extraordinary calendar sales and planning and attendance of events. More about Brandon:
Please tell us about yourself.
“I grew up in Pasadena Texas, and graduated from Sam Rayburn High School. From there, I went on and earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Human Performance from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. I have one sister who works as a registered nurse at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She and her husband have a daughter. I have worked in the Houston Fire Department for five years. Like all of the women and men I work with, I want to do a great work on the job and return home safely after every shift. I intend to work 25 years in the fire department. By then, I imagine I will be ready to retire and enjoy time with family.”
What keeps you volunteering for the Fund?
“I first became involved with the calendar, but chose to stay involved because it’s such a good cause. I especially enjoy the activities with the kids: Camp Janus, the field trips, handing out presents on Christmas Eve, and the first Valentine’s Dance, to name a few. The kids are receiving world-class medical care, but they also benefit from fun we can help bring to them.”
What can adults learn from the children we serve?
“Aside from scarring, these children are no different than other children. They have hopes and dreams. They want to play, and they have tons of energy. They want to know they are loved by family and friends and have promising futures. And they are adaptable, often even more than the adults around them, to find a way to succeed in their recoveries and beyond. I am constantly amazed by these kids’ courage as they recover from burn injuries.”
Why is the work of HFFBCF important?
“I see first-hand how our support helps these kids as they recover. I want to help the Fund to continue to grow, build our partnership with Shriners Hospital, and help the Fund reach even more children that need us. I’m also proud that we are further strengthening the Fund’s fire safety program. As firefighters, we see too many preventable fire tragedies, but I’m optimistic that the Fund’s outreach program can help prevent burn injuries."