First Responders Children’s Foundation provides financial support to both children who have lost a parent in the line of duty as well as families enduring significant financial hardships due to tragic circumstances. First Responders Children’s Foundation also supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by law enforcement and firefighting organizations whose purpose is to benefit children or the community at large.
Approximately 225 first responders are killed in the line of duty each year, and each fatality leaves behind an average of 2.3 children. This year’s 517 children will need help with their college tuition, and another 500+ children are put into the same situation every year. Fortunately, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been striving to meet this heartbreaking need for the past 19 years. Ever since September 11, 2001 when more than 800 children lost a parent, First Responders Children’s Foundation has provided millions of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of children who have lost a parent in the line of duty which helps cushion the financial hardship these children face.
In 2019, First Responders Children’s Foundation awarded 44 college scholarships to deserving children of first responders across the country and hosted more than 1,656 children and family members of first responders at the annual First Responders Children’s Foundation Thanksgiving Day Parade event in New York City providing families with a chance to gather and heal during an otherwise difficult holiday period. Additional Foundation events took place in 21 cities impacting summer camps, fire safety education, community & police fitness programs, law enforcement youth “explorers” programs, and even the launch of the first police-operated community center in New York City. The Foundation also became a charity partner of the nationally-televised PGA golf tournament, “A Military Salute at The Greenbrier,” which will continue each year to coincide with the anniversary of September 11, and the Foundation has even helped dedicate a commemorative train locomotive, CSX #911, “Spirit of our First Responders,” featuring the Foundation’s logo on the side which is hauling freight across America and simultaneously honoring our nation’s first responders.
First Responders Children’s Foundation was formed in 2002 as the National Law Enforcement & Firefighter Children’s Foundation. Founder Alfred R. Kahn hosted the first signature event, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast, in November, 2001 shortly after the 9/11 tragedy. His hope was to provide the families of New York’s first responders lost in the line of duty with a positive, supportive, and festive atmosphere as they entered what was certain to be a very difficult holiday season. There continues to be a clear need to help and support the families of first responders across the country with crucial assistance when disaster strikes. The Foundation awards scholarships and grants and works with departments, businesses, and local communities to reach children in need of assistance across the country.