Ever since September 11, 2001, Friends of Firefighters has been dedicated to serving the FDNY community with their physical, mental health, and wellness needs. We pride ourselves on offering free, independent, and confidential services to active and retired firefighters and their families.
Every year we hold a Fall Gala, which we rely upon to close the gap in our budget for the year to come. Unfortunately, this year’s gala did not meet our goal, partially due to inclement weather, and as a result we now have a shortfall of about $50,000.
This funding gap will impact the way Friends of Firefighters operates, mainly in that we cannot guarantee our counseling services free of charge after April 1st. All programs held at our Red Hook headquarters are in jeopardy, such as Acupuncture, Firehouse Kitchen Talk, Women’s Support Group, and On the Arm Breakfast. However, yoga instructor Crystal Fenton will continue offering her weekly firefighter yoga class at no cost at lululemon’s Flatiron location.
We are currently exploring new funding streams and working diligently to close the gap so that we can continue our mission of 17 years. To that end, we are looking at a model that either includes an insurance option or a fee for service; we are working with state politicians and our long-term donors, developing relationships with potential donors, and exploring grants and sponsors for programs.
We will continue holding fundraisers over the next few months, including Gary Sinise’s Firehouse Dinner and Grateful American Book Launch on February 10th, our 2nd Annual Firehouse Chili Cook-Off on April 18th, and the Tommy Phelan 5K Run/Walk on May 19th.
We have always relied heavily on contributions. Here are three ways that you can help now:
1. DONATE online or mail a check made payable to Friends of Firefighters (199 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn NY, 11231).
2. If you are an active FDNY firefighter, please consider donating .50 cents per paycheck to Friends of Firefighters via NYC Gives. For instructions on how to sign up, visit this link.
3. Help us get more friends for Friends of Firefighters. Start a peer-to-peer fundraiser to help raise money and awareness of our mission. We can help you set this up.
We remain committed to serving FDNY active and retired firefighters and their family members and will keep you apprised of our progress moving forward.
If you have any questions, please call our office at 718-643-0980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.