by Sarah Calams
It's the season for giving. And where better to share the love than with first responder charities?
When making a donation, be aware that there are scams. A good tip for donating is to never give over the phone and, when in doubt, give locally.
Here's a list of 12 first responder-specific charities. If we missed one, let us know in the comment section below.
- National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
You can give as little as $5 to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to help support families coping with the loss of a fallen firefighter. Instead of #GivingTuesday, the NFFF uses #FireHeroTuesday for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Their fundraising goal is for this year is $15,000. Donate here.
- First Responders Children's Foundation
The foundation works with families across the country, including police, fire, Forest Service, Border Patrol, EMS and all other forms of responders. They help provide college scholarships to children whose first responders' parents have either died in the line of duty or have become permanently disabled due to their line of work. Donate here.
- Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
The foundation, named after firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on 9/11, helps ease the financial burden of fallen responders' families by paying off their mortgages or creating trust accounts. All donations go directly to fund this initiative. Donate here.
- Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Through donations, the foundation helps provide much-needed equipment and resources to first responder and public safety organizations. In 2017, they were able to give 359 sets of bunker gear, 134 thermal imaging cameras, 664 AEDs, 104 extrication tools, 20 all-terrain vehicles and 268 ballistic vests. Donate here.
- The Leary Firefighters Foundation
The foundation helps provide funding and resources to fire departments in order to obtain equipment, technology and training. Donate here.
- National EMS Memorial Foundation
The purpose of the foundation is to establish a permanent EMS memorial in D.C. to honor, recognize and remember the commitment, service and sacrifice of EMS personnel who have died in the line of duty. Donate here.
- NAEMT Foundation
The foundation's mission is to better the future of EMS by supporting outreach programs, providing information about EMS careers to young adults, funding EMS-related scholarships and supporting evidence-based EMS research. Donate here.
- Firefighters and EMS Foundation
The foundation helps provide fire and EMS personnel with free medical and legal support services, a member line of duty death benefit, scholarship programs and it funds safety-related initiatives. Donate here.
- Responder Rescue
Responder Rescue helps provide both emotional and financial assistance to any first responders who have been injured, become ill or suffered a traumatic event. Donate here.
- National Volunteer Fire Council
A donation to the NVFC will help support legislative efforts, innovative programs, tools and resources to our nation's volunteer fire and EMS departments. Donate here.
- Code Green Campaign
The Code Green Campaign is a first responder oriented mental health advocacy and education organization. Donate here.
- California wildfire first responders
As first responders brave the worst nature has to offer to save neighbors’ lives and property, many have had to leave their own families to fend for themselves or watch as their own homes go up in flames. Several charities, organizations and donation pages have been made available to take donations and distribute funds to affected first responders. Learn more here.
This article was originally posted Nov. 28. 2017. It has been updated with new information.
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