By Laura French
NEW YORK — The First Responders Children's Foundation has released a summary of its last six months of work during the pandemic, announcing that it has aided more than 8,500 first responders faced with financial hardship.
The organization said in a press release that it provided a total of $8.2 million in grants to 8,594 first responders since the foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was established in March.
The foundation has also supplied nearly 13,000 hotel rooms and meal vouchers for first responders to self-quarantine and protect their families, distributed 650,000 surgical-grade masks to those on the front lines, funded 50 programs at first responder agencies and supported the funerals of 97 first responders who died due to COVID-19.
"As scientists and health officials anticipate a second wave, the Foundation anticipates a spike in grant applications, funerals, and PPE requests in the coming weeks and months – the need continues," the foundation stated in the release.
The foundation has received support for its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund through fundraisers such as the "iHeart Living Room Concert for America" benefit featuring celebrity music artists, and through donations from corporations and individuals, including a $1 million donation from Cisco.
The organization also recently launched a series of PSAs featuring Ryan Seacrest, who also donated $1 million for hotel rooms and PPE.