The First Responders Foundation’s mission is to serve and honor all our First Responders, Veterans, and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work and enhance public safety. On that journey this year, the Foundation has impacted first responders and their families in many ways. Below is a list of twenty impacts in 2020!
We thank the private citizens, the organization, and the businesses who have supported the Foundation this year making it possible to make a difference in the lives of first responders and their families.
Without Guns and Hoses and our Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor, our yearly fundraising events, this year has been particularly difficult as it has been for many social impact organizations. Your support has been and is now appreciated more than you will ever know, and allow us to continue our vital programming.
First Responders Foundation, Twenty Impacts in 2020!
Impact #1 in 2020 – Ambassadors of The Community.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer thanks the First Responders Foundation for being ambassadors of first responders in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas. Listen as Chief Schmaderer shares how the Foundation has positively impacted first responders. We thank Chief Schmaderer for his support of the Foundation.
Omaha Police Chief Schmaderer thanks the First Responders Foundation for being ambassadors for first responders.
Impact #2 in 2020 – Hand Sanitizer Project, providing hand sanitizer to those in need.
The First Responders Foundation partnered with Patriarch Distillers/Soldier Valley Spirits to provide hand sanitizer to first responders and other organizations, making a positive impact in the community and providing for those in need.
In April and May 2020, 84 different first responders organizations and others from Corrections, Sheriffs, Police, Fire, EMS, State Troopers, Dispatch, long term care, assisted living, dialysis clinics, dentist, physical therapist, rehab centers, VNA, DCH, United Health Care, One World, and homeless shelters were assisted, for a total of 13,900 people assisted and 675 gallons of hand sanitizer distributed.
During the same time frame 120 different community organizations from trucking, construction, HVAC Co., Tyson, Samaritan, NAPA, Waldinger Corp, Greater Omaha Packing, and others were assisted totaling 9,790 staff and distributing 430 gallons of hand sanitizer.
This collaboration reached geographically more than 20 communities, as far a North Platte, NE, and into Iowa. The trucking company Greater Omaha Express assisted with distributing the hand sanitizer across the two states.
Impact #3 in 2020 – The National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.
The National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael is a way to honor the Hero in your Life. First Responders are inducted into the National Society and they received a challenge coin and certificate. The challenge coin is two-sided – one side is the patron saint of firefighters, St. Florian, and the other side is St. Michael the patron saint of law enforcement. The video below shows the St. Michael side of the coin. This is a perfect gift for your special first responder. Who will you honor? The most recent honoree is Deputy Chief Ken Kanger of the Omaha Police Department. Learn how to nominate your hero here.
The St. Michael side of the two-sided coin for the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael
Impact #4 in 2020 – Opportunities for first responders to be Physically Fit and Spiritually Sound.
One of the Foundation’s goals is to provide opportunities for first responders and their families to be:
- Physically Fit
- Mentally Strong
- Financially Secure and
- Spiritually Sound
One class this year filled two of those goals. Rock Solid for Jesus is a class for women that meets on 12 consecutive Saturday mornings for exercise and devotions, in the Wellness Center. This class gave these women an opportunity to be both physically fit and spiritually sound.This generous group of women also donated $500 to assist with utilities. Great job ladies and many thanks!
A variety of diverse classes will be added in 2021 including Rock Solid for Jesus.
Impact #5 in 2020 – #Support Blue, Supporting Law Enforcement!
2020 was very eventful for law enforcement in the metro area. The First Responders Foundation and the community rallied around the police and sheriff’s departments to show our support and appreciation. A HUGE THANK YOU to the community, organization, and businesses, for all the donations that the Foundation was able to disperse throughout the metro and surrounding areas. The support was overwhelmingly amazing!
Impact #6 in 2020 – Appreciation Lunches to First Responders.
The First Responders Foundation was proud to show appreciation and provide lunch to approximately 1000 first responders this year, during the 11th annual Appreciation Lunches!
Impact #7 in 2020 – Mask for Many Project.
Part of the mission of the First Responders Foundation is to enhance public safety. In 2020 the Foundation had the wonderful opportunity to partner with the Douglas County Health Department, Omaha Fire Department, Omaha Police Department, CHI Health, and the Medical Reserve Corps- Eastern Nebraska to provide masks for those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our community. Nearly 150,000 masks were distributed!
To help support the program the Foundation also sold reversible #SupportRed/#SupportBlue masks. To purchase masks click here.
Impact #8 in 2020 – Free Golf Event for First Responders.
The First Responders Foundation partnered with Lance Juett Insurance Agency Inc., Farmers Insurance Group and Chad McMahon The Good Life Sports Bar and Grill, to sponsor a free golf tournament for first responders. This was to show appreciation to first responders for all they do for the community every day. Special thanks to Lance and Chad for providing the golf day and the following hole sponsors for making the day even more fantastic!
Impact #9 in 2020 – Assisting retired first responders and veterans with service dogs through our JAVELAN Program.
Meet Suz and Ginger. Suz knew that something had to change. She was not doing activities that she loved. She was not enjoying life. And then came to Ginger!
Impact #10 in 2020 – the First Responders Foundation Boosters!
The Boosters make a difference in the lives of local first responders. This group of people helps the Foundation continue with programming for first responders and their families. Memberships start at $5/month. Click here for more information. We appreciate our Boosters!
Impact #11 in 2020 – A New Facility for First Responders!
The First Responders Foundation opened a new Wellness Facility at 10605 Burt Circle in Omaha. The Wellness Facility houses administration offices, behavioral health services through our FRST Program (First Responders Support Team), our Service Dog Program – JAVELAN, and a new Physical Health/Fitness Department all exclusively for first responders, veterans, and their families. Renovations are being done to the fitness center now and open gym memberships will begin on January 20th!
All classes and programs are provided to help first responders and their families be
Financially Secure &
Click here for more information on our Physical Health Services/Fitness.
Impact #12 in 2020 – Offering Behavioral Health Services for First Responders.
This vlog below from Jason Workman is specifically for first responders to help manage stress during the holiday season. However, we all can benefit from his suggestions. Jason joined the Foundation full time in 2020 as the Director of the FRST Team (First Responders Support Team). Jason is a licensed clinician and is one of many clinicians working for the FRST Team specializing in working with first responders, first responder’s spouses/significant others, and adolescents of first responders.
If you would like more information or would like to make an appointment with the FRST Team, contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 402-218-1234 #2, or click here to read more. Services are available in person and via Telehealth.
Jason Workman on Holiday Stress Management
Impact #13 in 2020 – Being part of the Tri-Country Fire Corp.
Meet Hannah! Hannah is a graduate of the Tri-County Fire Corp Explorers program. This program is for students ages 16-19 to learn about careers in fire services through classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The First Responders Foundation is proud to be a part of this fantastic program that is a collaboration between local area fire departments and businesses. Read more about how the program has impacted Hannah’s decisions for the future here!
Impact #14 in 2020 – Awards of Excellence for children of first responders!
The First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence program has existed for four years and has recognized over 75 high school seniors who are children of area first responders. It rewards these talented young people with a check for $500 presented at an annual awards ceremony for them and their families. As we review each application and the many things these students have accomplished so far in their young lives, it should give us all hope for the future. And, to the recipients, the Awards of Excellence gives each the taste of success and hopefully an encouragement to pursue their dreams. The Awards of Excellence 2021 applications will be accepted starting on January 25, 2021. Check back here on the website and on social media for more information. Please share this with first responders who have graduating seniors in 2021!
Impact #15 in 2020 – Providing smoke/carbon monoxide detectors to those in need in our community!
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other home safety equipment are essential for a family’s safety. There are many elderly people and low-income families in need of these items. The First Responders Foundation partners with local fire departments to install combination detectors for those in need. This program is 100% donor/grant-funded. Donations are accepted here.
Everyone needs to make sure they have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!
First Responders Foundation Home Safety Program
Impact #16 in 2020 – Programs and Workshops offered by the FRST Team.
The First Responders Support Team (FRST) offers many programs and workshops for first responders and their families. Some of the programs are Peer Support Training, Peer Support Groups, With Honor workshops for retiring first responders, Substance Use Support Groups, First Responders Yoga, Individual Counseling, Spouse Support Groups, and Spouse Workshops, Stronger Together Workshops, and more. The next Stronger Together Workshop will be held on Feb. 27, 2021. More information and sign up is available here.
Impact #17 in 2020 – Supporting Firefighters/#Support RED.
This has been a tough year for firefighters for many reasons including COVID 19 and civil unrest. With the help of the community and many businesses and organizations, it has been our pleasure to provide snacks and beverages to local fire departments this year. Also we partnered with Verizon to “Feed the Frontlines” and partnered with many organization on the Mask for Many Project. The FRST Team has provided training and workshops for fire departments throughout the year.
To continue our programming and to #SupportRed we appreciate your donations. To donate click here.
Impact #18 – Serving Dispatchers!
Part of our mission is to show appreciation and respect to Dispatchers. We were happy to be able to do that in 2020 in various ways. Here is what 911 Operator Lindsay had to say about FRF! “The FRF has been a bright light to 911 operators and dispatchers through providing occasional lunches and through events. Some highlights this year include the night of Honoring Female First Responders. We had lots of fun learning self-defense moves. First Responder Yoga nights are also a great way to slow down and move better. My favorite part of yoga is the sweetest dog, Mini (FRF Office Dog), who likes to join! ”
We thank Lindsay and all Operators/Dispatchers for their service to our communities 365 days a year. We appreciate you!
Impact #19 in 2020 – Suicide Prevention Training for First Responders.
One of the most important trainings that the FRST Team provides is Suicide Prevention Training. The FRST Team trains individuals, departments, organizations, and also trains the trainer for suicide prevention. Suicide prevention is most effective when first responders can lean on their own teammates. Unfortunately, first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in job related or line of duty deaths.
Co-Director of the FRST Team, Stephanie Levy, shares signs that first resonders and loved ones of first responders can look for to recognize mental health issues. The FRST Team is here to help first responders and their families. Read more here for specific signs.
In this video Omaha Firefighter Justin talks about how the FRST Team has been helpful after the loss of his best friend and co-worker Jeremy.
FRST Suicide Prevention Training
Impact #20 in 2020 – Improving Public Safety in the Community.
Hal Daub shares how the First Responders Foundation’s public private partnership positively impacts the community. He shares how the Foundation is unique and is a model for other communities across the country. The programming and financial assistance of the Foundation has improved public safety for the metro area and beyond.