Providing a lifeline during the greatest times of sorrow
The loss of a first responder is a profound tragedy that reverberates through the lives of their children. In the face of unimaginable grief, the surviving parent is left to shoulder not only the weight of their own sorrow but also the burdensome financial and emotional challenges of laying their hero to rest. But this unexpected tragedy is compounded by an unexpected and harsh reality.
Easing the immediate financial burden
As first responder families who have lost their hero know all too well, medical, financial and other benefits provided to first responders often expire shortly after their death. In many circumstances, first responders’ benefits end at midnight on the day they lose their life, leaving their grieving children and families without support for weeks or even months until much-needed state and federal assistance arrives. FRCF’s Bereavement grant is a financial lifeline, providing immediate assistance to these families to cover essential expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities, groceries and even funeral services.
Easing the emotional burden
By lightening the heavy burden of financial strain, we enable first responder families to focus on what matters most—the healing process and rebuilding their lives. The program’s support allows surviving spouses to focus on what truly matters – being present for their children during a difficult time and allowing them time and space to grieve.
In 2022, we distributed $175,000 in Bereavement grants to 35 families nationwide. This represented 71 children who suffered the death of a first responder parent, helping their families cover that formidable gap between when benefits expire and when any life insurance or other benefits take effect.
In their own words
“I was devastated, overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty, when my world was shattered by the unexpected passing of my husband at the young age of 42. As a firefighter, he had dedicated his life to serving and protecting others, but his untimely death left me and our three young children behind. The weight of grief was unbearable, and on top of that, I found myself facing mounting bills and financial obligations.
I will forever be grateful for the compassionate assistance provided by First Responders Children’s Foundation, which gave me the space and time to process my own loss without the constant worry of overwhelming bills. Their unwavering support gave me the strength and stability to navigate the aftermath of my husband’s passing and be there for my children. Their kindness and generosity made a world of difference in our lives, and we will always carry gratitude in our hearts.”
Christine Browne, wife of Lieutenant Sean P. Mahoney, End Of Watch June 14, 2022