On December 14th and 15th, 2019, Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with their elves and a police caravan of supporters, friends and well-wishers, joined forces with First Responders Children’s Foundation, CSX Pride in Service, and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation to visit hero families that included 50 children of Chicago Police officers who have died protecting the citizens of Chicago as well as officers injured in the line of duty. Each child received personally-selected gifts of holiday cheer delivered during what can be a trying holiday season. To date, 585 Chicago Police Officers and their families have sacrificed for the City of Chicago, and the mission of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is to demonstrate to those families that the officers will never be forgotten. That mission was supported this holiday season by First Responders Children’s Foundation and CSX Pride in Service. In addition to visiting fallen and injured officer families, Operation Santa also visited and provided Christmas gifts to 20 Gold Star families and families where a Chicago Police officer is currently deployed overseas during the holidays. On December 14, there was also a press conference at Macy’s department store on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago’s shopping district. Bob Stanberry, Director of Strategic Relationships for First Responders Children’s Foundation, participated in the press conference, helped deliver gifts to families with the Chicago Police Department, and promoted the partnership of First Responders Children’s Foundation, CSX Pride in Service, the Chicago Police, and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Explorers
New York, NY
First Responders Children’s Foundation and CSX Pride in Service support the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Explorers Post 9910 in New York City which is celebrating 26 years of fostering a safe environment for New York City youth. The program teaches young adults about law enforcement, helps develop marketable skills for the future, breaks down barriers between law enforcement and young adults, and provides opportunities to help New York City youth build leadership skills and learn about team building. The program is comprised of 67 Explorers ranging in age from 14 to 20 who are pursuing law enforcement careers. DEA Explorers Post 9910 was launched in 1993, and some of the young people who have been through the program are now men and women serving their communities as federal agents, police officers, doctors, military officers, and teachers.
The DEA Explorers Post exposes participants to field operations and teaches lessons about interpersonal relationships and self-awareness. Explorers are given the opportunity to broaden their understanding of a career in law enforcement and gain first-hand knowledge of the challenges and job skills necessary for their community’s police service. Explorers have the opportunity to contribute to their community including collecting and distributing clothing for shelters, wrapping gifts for needy children during the holiday season, cheering on marathon runners, taking part in crowd control for charitable walks, and setting up for special events. The Explorers elect their own officers and plan and execute most of their own program activities which encourages Explorers to understand how their self-discipline benefits the group. All activities are under the supervision of the Post Advisor.
The NYPD Community Center
Brooklyn, New York
First Responders Children’s Foundation and CSX Pride in Service are supporting the first ever NYPD Community Center at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn which will open on October 23, 2019. As part of the East New York Revitalization Project, the Center will act as a safe haven for the youths of the East New York community. First Responders Children’s Foundation is partnering with the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau’s Youth Strategies Division to provide a Halloween event as well as basketball backboards in the new, fully-equipped gymnasium. The Community Center also has a dance studio, computer lab, classroom space, counseling room, and many other resources available to the community seven days a week.
Here are pictures of the Halloween Party on October 31, 2019:
"Get Fit with Fanwood's Finest"
Fanwood, New Jersey
August 26 - 30, 2019
On August 26 to 30, 2019, CSX and First Responders Children’s Foundation supported “Get Fit with Fanwood’s Finest,” a youth recreation program hosted by the Police Department of Fanwood, NJ. This eight week program for children ranging in age from 7 to 13 years old promoted physical activity and healthy lifestyles to the children of Fanwood, NJ and Scotch Plains, NJ. Participants participated in calisthenics, outdoor sports, and physical activities with local police officers and learned the importance of exercise and activity in healthy lifestyles. Children were able to try out the Police Academy obstacle course and take part in team-building exercises led by instructors who are all officers with the Fanwood Police Department and assigned to UCERT, the Union County Emergency Response Team. The program was overseen by Fanwood, NJ Police Chief Richard Trigo
Fire Prevention & Fire Safety Educational Activities
Ridgefield, New Jersey
August 7, 2019
The Ridgefield Fire Department in Ridgefield, New Jersey distributed 400 home exit drill kits and 650 child-size fire chief hats to students in grades K through 6 with the assistance of First Responders Children’s Foundation and with corporate support from CSX. Fire Chief John Hoffman along with his fire inspectors and firefighters distributed the kits and hats during classroom presentations to students. The goods support continued learning at home and also facilitate conversations with parents and guardians to improve overall fire safety awareness and readiness.
The Ridgefield Fire Department and Fire Prevention Bureau have extensive experience developing and conducting fire prevention and safety projects. Fire inspectors and firefighters visit local elementary, middle, and high schools to make age-appropriate fire safety presentations. They bring Freddie the Fire Engine, an interactive remote-controlled fire truck character, to elementary school presentations to make fire safety learning fun and hands-on. Firefighters also visit senior centers to provide smoke alarm education, give away smoke alarms, and participate in community fairs and events throughout the year where they distribute safety and fire prevention literature to residents of all ages.
Forensics Detectives Summer Camp
During the Summer of 2019, First Responders Children’s Foundation participated in the National Law Enforcement Memorial’s Forensic Detectives Summer Camp where children of first responders had the opportunity to play detective and crime scene investigator. 24 children ranging in age from 10 to 15 years old were accepted into the program representing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Fairfax County Police Department, Arlington Police Department, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Prince William County Fire Department, and South Carolina Department of Corrections. Campers met with professionals working in the field and learned about the history of American law enforcement, arson, ballistics, computer forensics, toxicology, crime scene investigation, and courtroom presentations. The experience provided campers with a greater understanding of forensic science and its role in the criminal justice system and exposed participants to STEM-related careers in law enforcement. First Responders Children’s Foundation board member emeritus, Robert Stanberry, was a judge in the courtroom segment of the program.