Volunteers “Rocking for Relief” for first responders

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) - It started with a 12-year-old girl and a rocking chair raising money for the families of emergency responders killed in the line of duty.

It's become an area-wide movement called "Rocking for Relief".

Saturday, it seemed to give those emergency responders a morale boost when they need it most.

Even with the early November chill volunteers plopped in their rocking chairs at 18 area Dierbergs stores Saturday morning and vowed not to leave those chairs for at least 9 hours.

SEMO freshman, Jennifer Rubin started the effort with a single chair when she was 12.

"We raised 750 bucks," she said.  Since then, we moved from 7 locations to 15.  Right now we're at 18.  We've raised more than $70,000 in the past six years including a $13,000 donation from Oprah Winfrey.

The money goes to Backstoppers, the organization that provides financial help to the families of emergency responders killed in the line of duty.

People coming and going at the Chesterfield Dierbergs were extra appreciative of the effort this year with police seemingly under constant fire amid the unrest in Ferguson.

Donations meant more than ever.

"When police officers and our firefighters see what these kids are doing it is a big morale booster," said Jim Silvernail, of Backstoppers.

Silvernail is a retired fire chief.

"It makes me feel good.  I know people care. They know police are not enemies. We're on their side," said volunteer Megan Kirchoff.

She and Rubin are planning to become police officers.

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