Mission: To provide financial support to children and families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
About the Organization: Established in 2002 by businessman Alfred R. Kahn to assist the families of New York City first responders who died on 9/11, First Responders Children's Foundation (formerly National Law Enforcement & Firefighters Children's Foundation) awards scholarships and grants and works with local police and fire departments, businesses, and communities to reach children in need across the country. According to the foundation, about two hundred and twenty-five first responders — including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, and employees directly supporting police and fire departments, such as 911 dispatchers — are killed in the line of duty each year, and every fatality leaves behind an average of 2.3 children. The organization also supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by law enforcement and firefighting organizations designed to benefit children or the community at large.
Current Programs: The foundation's core program is the scholarship program, which provide a maximum of $6,250 per academic year, with first priority given to applicants whose parents have been killed or injured in the line of duty. Awards are based on financial need, academic merit, and achievements such as demonstrated leadership, excellence in the arts or sports, and/or volunteer activities benefiting the community, and may be renewed annually up to a maximum of four years, depending on the availability of funds and the applicant's financial need and academic record.
The organization's grants program awards grants to both individuals and public safety agencies. Grants to individuals provide funds to meet a specific need for children whose parents have lost their lives or sustained serious injuries in the line of duty and who have endured financial hardship. Grants to agencies support educational activities and programs that benefit children and/or the communities in which they live.
COVID-19 Response: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has created a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund in support of first responders including medical personnel and staff of the emergency services of the hospitals and health facilities treating COVID-19 patients. To date, the organization has awarded grants totaling $7.31 million to 7,539 first responders in all fifty states who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19, paid for seventy funerals of first responders who died from COVID-19, and covered the costs of nearly thirteen hundred nights in hotel rooms and meal stipends for first responders. Through its Mask Project, a partnership with MaskClub by Trevco, the foundation also distributed 600,000 FDA-certified, surgical-grade masks to first-responder agencies without disrupting the supply chain of N95 masks for hospitals.
Website: Visitors to the First Responders Children's Foundation site can read about those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, or learn how they can support the organization in other ways, read testimonials from scholarship recipients and grant recipients, or watch videos made by first responders. Eligible children, families, and organizations can learn more about or apply for scholarships or grants to individuals or public safety agencies.
Funding: The First Responders Children's Foundation is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.