THE FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION TOY EXPRESS WILL DELIVER FREE TOYS & MASKS TO FIRST RESPONDER FAMILIES AND FIRST RESPONDER AGENCIES NATIONWIDE

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THE FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION TOY EXPRESS WILL DELIVER FREE TOYS & MASKS TO FIRST RESPONDER FAMILIES AND FIRST RESPONDER AGENCIES NATIONWIDE

NEW YORK, NY (November 16, 2020) – Today is the official launch of the First Responders Children’s Foundation Toy Express, a program that will help spread joy to children across the country during the 2020 holiday season.

First Responders Children’s Foundation’s Toy Express will deliver more than 250,000 free toys and masks to first responder agencies and hospitals which will then distribute the holiday cheer to children of first responders and to children in first responder communities.  Every child will also receive a mask with their toy.

“We’re saying happy holidays and thank you to the heroic first responders who show up when we dial 911,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation.  “Toy Express will help make a happy holiday for the children of our first responders which include nurses, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, paramedics, medical personnel, and 911 dispatchers.  Our first responders are on the frontlines of the pandemic, and they continue to risk their own health every day in selfless service to their local communities across the country.  So, please help us help them.  You can send toys & masks at 1stRCF.org or by texting TOY to 24-365.”

First Responders Children’s Foundation established the Toy Express with a generous toy donation worth more than $1,000,000 in retail value from Mattel and American Girl including 5,000 signature 18” American Girl dolls and more than 45,000 in other Mattel products such as Hot Wheels®, Barbie® and Mega Bloks®. Additional sponsors include CSX, Good360, Hess Toy Truck, Jakks Pacific, MaskUSA.com, and Toys for Tots.  In addition, generous individuals across the nation are helping bring holiday cheer to first responder families by making donations of toys and money. Transportation of toys and masks across the country is coordinated and provided by Total Quality Logistics (TQL) and their Moves that Matter program.

First Responders Children’s Foundation began in the wake of 9/11 when Founder and Chairman, Alfred R. Kahn, hosted the first annual Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.  That year, more than 800 children and family members of first responders lost in the line of duty were invited to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade from private, front-row viewing which began an annual tradition of welcoming devastated first responder families into a supportive environment to face the challenges of the start of a holiday season without a loved one.  19 years later, the Foundation continues to support the families of first responders across the country with critical assistance including college scholarships and financial grants including paying for funeral bills of first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their community.  During the 2020 pandemic, the Foundation has assisted more than 677,638 first responders through its Emergency Response Fund.  This holiday season, First Responders Children’s Foundation’s Toy Express will help provide cheer and happiness to children and families of first responders. Media assets for Toy Express can be found at https://1strcf.org/toy-express/.

Media Contact: First Responders Children’s Foundation
Joanna Black
+1 (646) 912-2681
[email protected]

About First Responders Children’s Foundation

For almost 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund was established in March, 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org.  Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @1stRCF.

FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION PAYS TRIBUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS ON NATIONAL FIRST RESPONDERS DAY

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FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION PAYS TRIBUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS ON NATIONAL FIRST RESPONDERS DAY

Messages from Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City first responder officials. A PSA released by Alan Jackson and Caylee Hammock in honor of first responders. A special Citation awarded by State of New York to the Foundation.

NEW YORK, NY (October 28, 2019) – Today, First Responders Children’s Foundation paid tribute to the nation’s first responders on National First Responders Day at America’s Response Monument at Liberty Park in New York.   A letter from Governor Andrew Cuomo was read to the audience, and messages of thanks to first responders across America were shared by first responder officials including FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro; NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Superintendent Louis Klock, and New York City Health & Hospitals Chief Nurse Executive Natalia Cineas.

 Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation thanked first responders and read a letter addressed to first responders scribed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Its a pleasure to send greetings to all gathered in celebration of National First Responders Day hosted by First Responders Childrens Foundation.

This is an important day–one that aptly honors the brave men and women who put other lives ahead of their own when they step out onto the frontlines. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am proud to offer my profound gratitude to these heroic first responders for their noble service and sacrifice. From our paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers, to our 911 dispatchers and medical personnel, we are blessed with extraordinarily courageous individuals, committed to protecting others despite risks to their own health and safety. In todays unprecedented times, their dedication has not wavered, and we are forever indebted.

Thank you to First Responders Childrens Foundation for providing us all with the opportunity to pay tribute to our brave and selfless first responders. I commend all affiliated with the Foundation for your dedication to providing support to these men and women and their families through tragic circumstances and extend best wishes for a wonderful celebration.

With gratitude. Sincerely, Andrew M. Cuomo”

First Responder Children’s Foundation Hero Awards were presented to several first responders who accepted the awards on behalf of all first responders across America. The Foundation’s “Roll Call of Heroes” included Detective Gloria Felix, Firefighter Kinga Mielnik, Paramedic Lieutenant Esmerelda Pepper-Gonzalez, Doctor Tanzib Hossain, Registered Nurse Geraldine Canlas and Patient Care Technician Ramona Torres. 

The goal of the Foundation is to make National First Responders Day a prominent national holiday across the country, and a special Citation was issued by Governor Cuomo on behalf of the State of New York to the First Responders Children’s Foundation in honor of its commitment to first responders during tragic circumstances and unprecedented challenges.

First Responders Children’s Foundation also launched a PSA to honor first responders. The Foundation worked closely with Universal Music Group Nashville to integrate a timely rendition of the classic Don Williams song “Lord, I Hope This Day is Good” by Caylee Hammack and Alan Jackson with vivid images of hardworking first responder heroes—firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, doctors, nurses, coast guard, 911 dispatchers—who faithfully answer the call to every emergency, and are always ready to help others. The PSA is available for download here

Video recordings and photographs of The First Responders Children’s Foundation National First Responders Day Tribute can be found here. A recording of the livestream can be found here.

For almost twenty years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has provided scholarships to children of first responders who have been injured or lost in the line of duty.  The Foundation also provides emergency grants to first responder families facing financial hardship and community grants to first responder agencies.  In response to COVID-19, the Foundation launched the Emergency Response Fund.  Over the past seven months, the Foundation has supported and continues to offer assistance to first responders nationwide in several ways, including:

  • Funding 12,946 hotel room nights and meal stipends so first responders don’t have to risk infecting their families and / or can self-quarantine.
  • Awarding $8.6 million in grants to 8,646 first responders in all 50 states who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Distributing 656,000 FDA-certified, surgical-grade masks and additional PPE to first responder agencies.
  • Paying for 109 funerals of first responders who died from COVID-19.

First Responders Children’s Foundation continues to respond to first responders’ needs across the country and is currently fundraising to pay for 63 first responder COVID-related funerals and over 8,000 requests for emergency financial assistance from first responders

Media Contact: First Responders Children’s Foundation
Joanna Black
+1 (646) 912-2681
[email protected]

About First Responders Children’s Foundation

For almost 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund was established in March, 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org.  Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @1stRCF.

How We’re Helping First Responders

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How We’re Helping First Responders

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COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

First Responders Children’s Foundation was established almost two decades ago in order to support the families of the First Responders who lost their lives in the wake of 9/11. This year another tragedy struck, and in March, the Foundation established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund through the support of CSX’s Pride in Service initiative.

iHeart Living Room Concert for America

Soon after launching our pandemic response initiative, we garnered national attention thanks to Fox Entertainment and iHeart Media. The “iHeart Living Room Concert for America” hosted by Sir Elton John and presented by Fox helped us raise over $1 million iin donations from both individuals and companies to help families of front-line workers.

As a one-hour TV special supporting the foundation, the concert was broadcast twice in prime time and attracted 8.7 million viewers. Featured stars included Elton John, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and Ellen.

Our Partnerships

We would like to thank Fox for making a considerable monetary donation and to all the corporate donors that followed suit including Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Allstate Foundation, Belk’s, Bloomingdale’s, Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, E&J Gallo Wine, iMedia Brands (ShopHQ), Motorola, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proctor and Gamble, The Rite Aid Foundation, and Ryan’s World.

Ryan Seacrest, who also made an appearance on the concert, donated hotel rooms and PPE for First Responders and recorded a public service announcement for television and radio. Cisco, a longtime supporter of the Foundation, also made a significant donation to fund financial hardship grants. 

Companies both big and small have launched their own fundraising efforts to help support our cause. Two women-owned businesses have collectively raised over a hundred thousand dollars for the Foundation. Erin Condren, a women-led lifestyle brand, has donated 40% of the proceeds of their fashionable adult and children’s masks. ALEX & ANI, a women’s jewelry company, designed charm bracelets to support our frontline and healthcare heroes by donating a percentage of sales to the Foundation. During this promotion, Alex & Ani and the Foundation worked together to honor several of our country’s female heroes on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic by gifting the bracelets.

We have seen firsthand how cents can add up too. Both Bloomingdale’s and Belk’s department stores asked customers to round-up at the register, and those cents totaled thousands of dollars. Doing good by rounding-up has helped us continue our mission of supporting the brave firefighters, police officers, EMTs and medical professionals who are facing unprecedented hardship.

The Power of Song

The 2020 VMA-winning, #1 hit single “Stuck with U,” by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, brought international attention to the Foundation with their heartfelt yet upbeat take on life in quarantine. Some of our very own First Responder grantees were featured in the song’s music video, which took home the “Best Music Video From Home” award, a debut category at the VMAs. Thank you to Ariana, Justin and the entire team at SB Projects, as well as to all the First Responder families who made appearances in the award-winning video. 

In fact, many artists have come together to support the Foundation. A big thank you to Alicia Keys for donating her song “Underdog” for use in a PSA, and to Academy Award-winning composer Franke Previte for donating sales of his song, “One World,” to the Foundation. 

You can kick back and listen to these songs by visiting 1stRCF.org, and be sure to be on the lookout for exciting news in weeks ahead when we announce donations made from single sales of “Stuck with U”!

PPE to the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The First Responders Children’s Foundation Mask & PPE Project provides life-saving masks and other PPE–personal protective equipment–to First Responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in record delivery times. The Foundation has engaged its network of First Responders across the country to create a new and highly efficient supply chain for our FDA-certified, medical grade masks and other much needed PPE. We ship to every state, including nursing homes, hospitals, public safety agencies and fire stations both big and small.

To date, we have distributed over 650,000 surgical grade masks, 4,500 face shields, 6,100 hand sanitizers, 4,000 cotton microbial masks and 2,600 first responders care packages. This staggering response was made possible with the help of Mask Club, DonatePPE, Warner Bros., Sewby, Masqd, Eminence Organic Skincare, Proper Cloth, The Octex Group, and Ford Motor Company.

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FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES CSX PRIDE IN SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

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FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES CSX PRIDE IN SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

The Foundation awards 94 scholarships to youth from across the country to pursue post-secondary education

NEW YORK, NY (October 8, 2020) – Today, First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), a nonprofit organization that supports children of first responders and their families, and CSX, a premier transportation company, announce the CSX Pride in Service Scholarship recipients for the 2020/2021 academic year.

There are a total of 94 new and returning scholars residing in CSX’s 23-state operational network. The CSX Pride in Service Scholarships have been awarded to children of first responders, many of whom have been killed or injured in the line of duty. Each scholar is awarded up to $6,250 for a single academic year. Awards are based on financial need as well as academic merit, demonstrated leadership, outstanding performance in the arts or sports and community volunteerism. Recipients are encouraged to reapply annually for a maximum of four years.

“On behalf of First Responders Children’s Foundation, I would like to congratulate all of the CSX Pride in Service scholars for pursuing a college education,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “These young people are the future of our country and we are proud of their passion, resilience and commitment to attaining a degree during these challenging times.”

Upon hearing the news of their award, a number of recipients have reached out to First Responders Children’s Foundation with heartfelt notes of gratitude. Madison Harris, a recipient attending University of Virginia, Class of 2025, wrote:

“Thank you, First Responders Children’s Foundation as well as CSX for awarding me $2,500 for the CSX Pride in Service Scholarship! I am very honored and appreciative to have been selected. I will continue pushing myself to keep up my grades, give back to the community and do my best to make a difference!”

Thomas Caputo recorded a video message to express his thoughts on winning the scholarship. Thomas comes from a long lineage of first responders, including his grandfather and uncle, both of whom passed on 9/11. In addition, his father is suffering from a 9/11-related illness. In his message, Thomas shares how his choice to pursue nursing at Villanova University was shaped by his family’s commitment to service and the ultimate sacrifices his family made on that fateful day.

The CSX Pride in Service scholars come from diverse backgrounds and are pursuing a range of academic disciplines including accounting, economics, engineering, finance, history, illustration, marketing, nursing, theology and wildlife conservation.

“Congratulations to all CSX Pride in Service Scholarship recipients,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of corporate communications at CSX. “When we launched CSX Pride in Service two years ago, we set out to provide critical financial assistance to first responders and their families, including support for their children’s academic pursuits. We are proud to have a hand in helping 94 additional children of first responders pursue their dreams this year.”

FRCF is accepting scholarship applications on a rolling basis. Children of first responders who are attending or plan to attend a post-secondary institution can learn more and apply at www.1strcf.org.

Media Contact: First Responders Children’s Foundation
Joanna Black
+1 (646) 912-2681
[email protected]

CSX Media Relations
+1 (855) 955-6397
[email protected]

About First Responders Children’s Foundation
For almost 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund was established in March, 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org. Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @1stRCF.

About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products. For nearly 200 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development.  Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides.  It also links more than 230 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. For more information, visit csx.com.