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Dec 14, 2019
A Statement Regarding our Door to Door Fundrasier
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By Captain Matthew Thews
July 11, 2018

We have received several complaints and concerns over the past few days about our on-going door-to-door fundraising campaign. The NMDVFC employs a third-party company to raise funds on our behalf, as we do not have the time to do this sort of manpower intensive fundraising with department members. The third-party retains about 30% of all collected funds as their fee for the service. We understand concerns over their appearances, behavior, etc. We are very limited to the choices we have for companies to perform this service, so we have stuck with this company, because they perform an irreplaceable service for us.

We are bringing the voiced concerns to the third-party and will be trying to take the following actions:
- Add identification, such as door magnets, to the solicitors vehicles.
- More professional appearance of solicitors that affirms their representation of NMDVFC.
- Ensure that any and all suspicious behavior is promptly investigated and handled.

For those who have asked, why can't NMDVFC find a better way to raise money? Here are a few of the ways we raise/acquire money and how they are used:

1. Door-to-door: We retain about 70% of all collected funds, all of which go towards purchase of appartaus, building payments, equipment, and upkeep of such. This is our BIGGEST fundraiser.
2. Mail-out: We send a mailer and follow up mailer beginning in November/December. We get 100% of these donations, which are used in the same manner as #1. This doesn't make enough money to eliminate #1.
3. Fundraisers (Breakfast, Bingo, Dinners): We host several fundraising events a year, mostly at the NMDVFC social hall. We use these funds the same as #1 and #2. Unfortunately, we do not make enough from these type of events to eliminate #1 or #2.
4. General Donations: We receieve donations in person, through the mail, and online at 100% of these funds are retained and used similar to #1.
5. County Tax Funds: We receive taxpayer funds each year to help pay for a portion of our utility bills, vehicle maintenance, and building upkeep. These are very restricted in their use and limited in scope.
6. Ambulance Subscription Funds: You receive a mailer from Frederick County each year asking to join the subscription club. This prevents you from having to pay any fees that your insurance may not cover in relation to ambulance transports (billed by Frederick County). 100% of this subscription fee goes to us to be used for the purchase of apparatus and buildings.
7. AMOSS 508 Funds: State provided taxpayer funds that are used towards the purchase of fire-rescue vehicles.
8. Ambulance Billing Funds: NMDVFC receives 75% of ambulance billing transport fees collected by Frederick County on transports occurring using our ambulance. This money goes towards new fire/rescue/EMS equipment, apparatus, and buildings. We retain 75% because NMDVFC is one of only two volunteers staffed ambulances in the county. All of the others are 24/7 DFRS staffed. We pride ourselves in this fact and work hard to retain our ZERO percent fail rate on all responses. This is the best in Frederick County.

So, as you can see, we obtain money in several ways, but the most important is our door-to-door fundraiser. It raises an amount of money that is simply irreplaceable and we could not function or pay or debts without it. We still owe nearly $1 million dollars on our recently renovated building, and nearly half a million towards loans on fire apparatus. We carried these debts in order to best serve the community. These have saved the taxpayers more than $10 million which would have been spent to replace our building and fleet on the County's dime. There was a mention that we were in dire straights ten years ago. This is true. But since then, we have all new leadership, grown our operational personnel to five times the previous level, and gone from a circa 1955 building and county owned fleet to a new building and all NMDVFC owned fleet. Please remember these things when you go to donate.

Please know that our volunteers strive to be some of the most highly trained, most professional, and most dedicated emergency services personnel in the state. We have had the most training hours per member in the state three years running. We respond with the only water rescue boat in Frederick County that has a 0% fail rate and often has to pick up the slack in other parts of the county and state. We have maintained a Zero percent fail rate in responses for three straight years. No other department in this county or region can boast that fact. We will not tolerate misinformation or attacks on our credibility as an organization. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you would like to help our please donate to our cause or join our membership. Thank you.

Matthew Thews
New Market District Volunteer Fire Company
a 501(c)4 (with deductability) non-profit organization

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