COOKIES FOR RICHARD: Family of fallen firefighter honors him on 22nd birthday

Richard Sheltra (WSOC photos)

PINEVILLE, N.C. - Loved ones of fallen firefighter Richard Sheltra are once again honoring his life by giving out Sheltra's favorite treat, chocolate chip cookies, to all first responders in Pineville.

Sheltra's family on Friday celebrated what would have been his 22nd birthday by giving out chocolate chip cookies to first responders.

CLICK HERE to read more from WSOC

"It's just a fun way to celebrate what could be a very difficult day for all of us. These guys loved Richard like a brother," said his mother, Linay Sheltra.

It is a sweet way to honor Sheltra, who lost his life protecting others. Sheltra died April 30 while battling a fire at a Pineville shopping center.

Last year, people from 50 states and seven countries sent chocolate chip cookies to their local fire departments. Sheltra's family hopes to continue the tradition.

"When they run into a fire, we are running out and they are running in to save lives. We like to honor them on this day, Richard's birthday," Linay Sheltra said.

The family encouraged everyone to participate by bringing chocolate chip cookies to their local first responders to thank them for serving and protecting their community.