Posts Categorized: Family Programs

2023-2024 NFFF Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted Online

2023-2024 NFFF Scholarship Applications

Through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s scholarship programs, loved ones of the fallen can realize their educational dreams. Online applications are being accepted January 1 through March 1 for the 2023-2024 NFFF Scholarships, which provide financial assistance to spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

2022 Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

Each year the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation decorates holiday trees in memory of all fallen firefighters. On on Friday, December 2, the Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting took place at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel. The beautiful trees feature ornaments from the families and departments of America’s Fire Heroes from around the country which are on display throughout the holiday season.

The Difference YOU Can Make

2022-2023 Scholarship Recipients

Curious about the real-life impact your support of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has? We invite you to meet our most recent scholarship recipients. We’re so very proud of these young men and women—and are delighted to introduce them to the Fire Hero Family community. Each of the recipients lost a parent firefighter to a line-of-duty death; they received their awards based on their financial need and academic performance.

Kids Camp Attendees Treated to Mountaintop Adventure

2022 Kids Camp

Kids Camp gives grieving children a chance to “just be children.” For children who experience the loss of a primary loved one, dealing with grief can be a monumental challenge. When that loved one was a firefighter who sacrificed his/her life in the line of duty, those affected share a unique bond. Combining traditional camp fun with therapeutic benefits, Kids Camp gives them the added strength to meet that challenge together.

NFFF and the Public Safety Officer Support Act (HR 6943)

Public Safety Officer Support Act

The legislation, which was signed into law by President Biden on August 16, 2022, makes significant changes to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program. Under the new law, “post-traumatic stress disorder, or trauma and stress related disorders… shall be presumed to constitute a personal injury within the meaning of…” the PSOB regulations.

Fire Hero Families Gather in Rochester

Wellness Conference - Rochester, New York

The NFFF Family Programs team was joined by a terrific group of presenters and a dedicated group of local fire service members—all amidst the lovely backdrop of peaceful upstate New York.

Identity and Sense of Self in Widowhood

Identity and Sense of Self in Widowhood

In March, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation hosted a virtual support workshop featuring Michele Neff Hernandez, who was recently named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2021. This workshop focused on how the death of a spouse or partner not only turns our world upside down, but it also re-shapes us as individuals. One of the most important elements of grief recovery is coming to know, appreciate, and respect the new self.

Gratitude Tour: From Sea to Shining Sea

Grief in Progress​

Juliann Ashcraft and her husband Andrew were twenty-somethings with four young children when he died in the line of duty in Prescott, Arizona on June 30, 2013. In fact, he was one of 19 wildland firefighters who died in the line of duty that day, with just one member of the crew surviving. Overwhelmed with gratitude for the strangers who sent letters and cards and offered support, Ashcraft converted a 40-foot Greyhound bus into a home on wheels and hit the road with her kids on a gratitude tour that would take them across the United States. Juliann wrote about the tour on a blog, and in this episode she talks about how she’s always used her writing to process her thoughts and feelings. She also describes how she recently added the word “gift” to her personal definition of the word “grief”—for without her experience of losing Andrew, she would not be who she is today.

Following in the Footsteps of Service

Grief in Progress​

Fire Hero family members often continue their loved one’s commitment to service. This episode focuses on two daughters of fallen firefighters who both lost their dads to heart attacks in the line of duty—in separate incidents, two years and hundreds of miles apart. Liza Aunkst ’s father, Mike, was a volunteer firefighter in Benedict, Nebraska; Rachel Prouty’s dad was fire chief in Brownsville, NJ. But the two young women became friends at NFFF’s Young Adult Retreat, an annual program that helps young people gain skills to deal with grief and build support systems as they move forward into full independence. Today, the young women have more than friendship and a similar story in common. Looking toward meaningful careers, both have chosen social work as their field. Hear them share their experiences of growing up amidst a dedication to service, finding connections to help face the future—and how legacy has played a role in each of their lives.