How We’re Helping First Responders
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.
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.
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
+1 (646) 912-2681
CSX Media Relations
+1 (855) 955-6397
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 COVID-19 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 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1stRCF.
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.