NEW YORK, April 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Responders Children’s Foundation announced today that the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund would award grants to first responders experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation will also fund temporary housing and need-based grants to first responders and public safety agencies across the country. College scholarships for children of first responders who have passed away as a result of COVID-19 are also available.
To be eligible to receive a grant or scholarship from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the Foundation has defined first responders as emergency medical technicians, firefighters, paramedics, police officers and employees supporting first responders such as 911 dispatchers. Also eligible are medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients.
To address the immediate needs of first responders on the front lines, the Foundation awarded a grant to the FDNY Foundation to provide temporary housing for FDNY EMS personnel and firefighters. Like many first responders across the country, they are gravely concerned about spreading COVID-19 to their vulnerable family members, including elderly parents, children with special needs and immunosuppressed partners. Through a generous donation from Ryan Seacrest, the First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will provide 200 hotel rooms and corporate style apartment housing in New York City for the next six weeks. The Foundation expects to receive similar requests from first responder agencies across the country as the need grows, and the Foundation is actively working with public safety agencies across the nation to convey the availability of grants through the Fund.
“The First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will make an immediate impact in the lives of our EMTs, Paramedics, and Firefighters who are on the front lines of this pandemic by providing important funding to secure temporary housing for them through our FDNY Foundation COVID-19 Fund,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “On behalf of the FDNY and FDNY Foundation – and the brave men and women of the FDNY – we thank First Responders Children’s Foundation for their tremendous support.”
Jean O’Shea, Executive Director of the FDNY Foundation, acknowledged the support stating, “The FDNY Foundation is so grateful to the First Responders Children’s Foundation for this grant. Our FDNY members are on the front lines fighting this pandemic, and we are committed to supporting them.”
In keeping with First Responders Children’s Foundation’s mission to provide college scholarships, the Foundation will award scholarships to children of first responder parents who have died from COVID-19. For nearly 20 years, the Foundation has provided college scholarships to children of first responder parents who have been killed or permanently injured in the line of duty. The Foundation will continue to be there for the children of first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was established through the support of CSX and the company’s Pride in Service initiative, a commitment to support the nation’s military, veterans, and first responders. The “iHeart Living Room Concert for America” presented and televised by FOX raised money and awareness for the Foundation and encouraged generous donations from individuals and companies.
The Foundation recognizes and thanks industry leaders, including Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, E&J Gallo, Fox, iHeart Radio, PricewaterhouseCoopers, P&G, and The Rite Aid Foundation. Artists and talent who were pivotal in sharing the message of the Foundation to the world include Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Ben Falcone, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Dave Grohl, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, H.E.R., Ken Jeong, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Mariah Carey, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, Ryan Seacrest, Sam Smith and Tim McGraw.
As COVID-19 continues to infiltrate communities across the nation, the Foundation expects to see an even greater need for grants within the first responder community. The Foundation will need to raise a minimum of $200 million to support the projected needs of first responders. The Foundation is appealing to individuals across the country to donate by pledging to help a first responder during the pandemic. There are several opportunities available for companies to support the Foundation, including a one-time donation, employee matching programs, and give-back initiatives.
“First Responders Children’s Foundation would like to thank all the people and companies that have supported the Foundation and donated to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “We have experienced genuine caring and generosity from people across this country as we come together to help first responders in a time when they need us most.”
First responders can apply for grants by completing a simple, four-question application on the Foundation’s website, 1stRCF.org, and applications will be reviewed expeditiously. Grant applications are also available on the Foundation’s website for first responder agencies that require financial support for COVID-19 related emergency response.
#FirstRespondersStrong is a social media campaign celebrating the resiliency and strength of first responders, encouraging first responders to post videos from the front lines, and asking civilians to share messages of appreciation.
Grant applications are being accepted online by visiting: 1stRCF.org.
Media Contact:First Responders Children’s FoundationJoanna Black+1 (646) 912-2681 Joanna@1stRCF.org
About First Responders Children’s FoundationFor the past 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to children of first responders who have lost a parent in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports programs operated by law enforcement organizations whose purpose is to benefit children or the community in which they live. The Foundation’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade breakfast hosts children and family members of those lost in the line of duty for a free breakfast and front-row view of the Parade so those families can gather and heal during what might otherwise be a stressful holiday. More information can be found at www.1strcf.org. Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1strcf.