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How to help first responders affected by COVID-19

Help first responders endure the national emergency by donating to these charities and organizations


An FDNY medical worker wears personal protective equipment outside a COVID-19 testing site at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New York.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

First responders around the world are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many responders – including healthcare workers, EMTs and paramedics, firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, dispatchers and local government officialshave become exposed and fallen ill while serving their communities.

As responders continue to serve and take care of patients, many organizations and charities are raising money for those directly affected by COVID-19.

If you’re looking for a way to give back, we’ve compiled a list of first responder-specific charities and organizations to which you can donate today.

As a reminder, be aware of scams. Never give a donation over the phone. Before making an online donation, double check who’s receiving your donation. And, when in doubt, give locally. Organizations like United Way, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are all great ways to deliver emergency support to first responders in need.

1. First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund

Donations made to the First Responders Children’s Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will provide first responders and their families with emergency financial assistance. It will also help provide food, supplies, rent or mortgage, utility and childcare assistance. Click here to donate.

2. Boston Resiliency Fund

The Boston Resiliency Fund supports first responders and healthcare workers so they can perform their jobs to the best of their ability while responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. It also provides food to the city’s children and seniors, and technology to public schools for remote learning. Click here to donate.

3. Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

The LAFD Foundation will use donations to purchase and replenish necessary PPE for firefighters and paramedics, such as gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer and masks. Click here to donate.

4. FDNY Foundation

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the FDNY Foundation’s top priority is guarding the health and safety of New York City’s firefighters, EMTs and paramedics so they can continue to serve their community. Donations will go toward increased training, emergency equipment and support for responders who become exposed. Click here to donate.

5. Seattle Police Foundation

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was announced on Jan. 21, 2020, in the state of Washington. Donations to the Seattle Police Foundation will help fulfill urgent needs for the department as officers continue to work and serve the community. Click here to donate.

6. Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E. is committed to providing first responders and medical professionals with whatever equipment needs arise, such as N95 masks, PPE, gloves and other medical supplies. For as little as $25, you can sponsor a box of medical supplies. Click here to donate.

7. One805

One805 supports responders by funding emergency equipment, counseling services and community preparedness programs. If you’re in the Santa Barbara, California, area, they’re requesting unused masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and protective medical clothing for responders. They’re also looking for unoccupied residences that responders can use in order to limit potential exposure to their families. Click here to donate.

8. EMS FDNY Help Fund

The EMS FDNY Help Fund, which was created nearly two years ago, assists responders who are battling medical issues, debilitating injuries and personal tragedies. The fund is now helping EMTs, paramedics and other first responders who become exposed and fall ill while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to donate.

9. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) COVID-19 Emergency Fund

Through the pandemic, the NFFF continues to honor America’s fallen firefighters, assist their families, and work to prevent firefighter injuries and deaths. Acknowledging that there will be additional needs due to COVID-19 – and fewer resources – the NFFF is looking for donations to support first responders and their families. Click here to donate.

Editor’s Note: Did we miss one? Please share your first responder charities in the comments below or email

Sarah Calams, who previously served as associate editor of and, is the senior editor of and In addition to her regular editing duties, Sarah delves deep into the people and issues that make up the public safety industry to bring insights and lessons learned to first responders everywhere.

Sarah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in news/editorial journalism at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Have a story idea you’d like to discuss? Send Sarah an email or reach out on LinkedIn.