Honorary firefighter with cerebral palsy hoping to collect first responders’ shirts

YORK COUNTY, Pa. --  As you step inside Stephen Smith's room at the Margaret E. Moul home in York County, you're greeted with badges, helmets, and photos.

Each is a reminder of Stephen's first love.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to help people," said Stephen.

Stephen had childhood dreams of one day becoming a firefighter.

"While other people were running out screaming, we're [firefighters are] remaining calm and running in after them, trying to save their life and their pets life, stuff like that," explained Stephen.

Scanners are what now keep Stephen in the know.

"I don't mind hearing the radio all day, but I would rather be in the field helping people," said Stephen.

Right now, Stephen is restricted from doing that, limited to a wheelchair.

"Since I'm physically disabled, I have cerebral palsy, so I am unable to physically do [that]," he said.

Instead, Stephen is considered an honorary firefighter at two departments; a tattoo keeps those two stations close to heart.

"Station 23 which is in Manchester," explained Stephen. "One number for Exeter Township which is where I'm originally from."

For the past ten years though, Margaret E. Moul has been Stephen's home.

He says he wants to feel a connection with heroes in this community and so Stephen shared a post online asking for one thing: more of their shirts.

"If I got a hundred million shirts....technically, that is not my problem," laughed Stephen. "Its house keeping and laundry`s problems because I don't do laundry so.."

All jokes aside, Stephen appreciates the support he's received since the post.

"It's just amazing to me to realize, that even though I am in a chair and physically disabled, how kind the world is really out there," he said.

Shiloh Fire Company in West Manchester Township wanting to show Stephen a little more of that kindness

The Chief invited us all for a tour of the station before he  gave Stephen a surprise for his collection.

Stephen has a message for all those strangers who have reached out to him, saying, "I don't even know you... but thank you very much."

Although Stephen's first love is firefighting, he'd like shirts from police, EMS, and other first responders in the area.

If you're interested in sending one, he is a size large.

You can mail shirts to 2050 Barley Rd., York, PA 17408.

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