MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach firefighters raised thousands of dollars over the week to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

On Friday, at the start of South Carolina’s tax-holiday weekend, members of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department and the Myrtle Beach Professional Firefighters Association collected more than $4,000 outside the Coastal Grand Mall Food Court, the Walmart Neighborhood Market on North Kings Highway and at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Farrow Commons shopping center.

“We want to try to do more than when just we’re called to help out,” said Chris Hunt, a firefighter and EMT. “We want to help out as much as we can all the time. It’s great, you know, a nice, warm fuzzy feeling.”

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is a nonprofit group that raises money to find a cure for several diseases that progressively weaken muscles.

“It’s cool to have to be out here to, and have to be the manpower basically, to facilitate our community to make this donation,” said Brain Whittington, president of the Myrtle Beach Professional Firefighters Association and a Myrtle Beach Fire lieutenant. “I’m proud to be a part of this department and organization.”

Whittington said it’s important to bring awareness to these diseases and that it’s nice for him and other firefighters to get out in the community while they are off-duty.

“It’s a way for our members to go above and beyond,” he said. “We’re expected to respond to calls, run into burning buildings, show up when people have medical emergencies or car accidents. That s our job, but to be able to, on our days off, go above and beyond and help our community facilitate our community to making this difference is pretty cool. It’s really rewarding.” 

Whittington said the long-lasting relationship between the MDA and the fire department makes these events successful.

“They help coordinate making the money we collect, change, dollar bills and stuff and getting it to them as efficiently as possible,” Whittington said. “We have that relationship with them, so it makes this event pretty easy.”

Anyone who wants to donate can contact the fire department.