Family Resources

NFFF Connect

Grieving During the Holidays

The holidays can be difficult when you are grieving. Michele Neff Hernandez, founder and CEO of Soaring Spirits International, has some gentle reminders for navigating the holiday season.

Holiday Season Self-Care Checklist

There may be traditions you’d like to keep and others you’d like to change. But however you decide to approach the holidays, strive to find moments of peace for yourself.

As you face the days ahead, this checklist can serve as idea-starters you can use throughout the season and beyond.

Holiday Self-Care Checklist

Upcoming Virtual Events

2020 Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

2020 Fire Hero Family Tree Lighting

December 4, 2020 4:30 – 5:30 pm EST
Streamed on firehero.org and NFFF Facebook

Each year, during the holidays, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation decorates trees in memory of our fallen firefighters. Please join us virtually on our website or Facebook for this beautiful annual tribute to our fallen firefighters.

Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange

Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange

December 5, 2020 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST
Zoom to Your Kitchen

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe or want to share your firefighter’s favorite cookie recipe? We will be getting together virtually to swap a few baking secrets, share traditions, and make delicious cookies. Register by November 20, 2020 and submit a cookie recipe to receive your baking supplies before the Cookie Exchange.

Grit, Grace, and Growth

Grit, Grace, and Growth – December

December 6, 2020 4:00 – 5:00 pm EST
Virtual Workshop

This program is open to any fire hero family member of a firefighter honored at the National Memorial and whose spouse or life partner has died. That means any woman or man, legally married or not, who has lost their life partner may join the workshop series.

Grit, Grace, and Growth

Grit, Grace, and Growth – January

January 3, 2020 4:00 – 5:00 pm EST
Virtual Workshop

This program is open to any fire hero family member of a firefighter honored at the National Memorial and whose spouse or life partner has died. That means any woman or man, legally married or not, who has lost their life partner may join the workshop series.

Ornaments for Fire Hero Family Trees


Weekly Online Support Groups

We host two weekly support groups that are open and free to family members of firefighters who have been or are approved to be honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Facilitated Support Groups (ET)

The Tuesday night group is professionally facilitated by a psychologist and is intended for those whose loss is recent, anyone who is struggling currently, and those who do not have a strong support network.

Facilitated Support Group
December 1, 2020, 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Facilitated Support Group
December 8, 2020, 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Peer Support Groups (ET)

The Wednesday night group is an opportunity for family members to talk with one another in an informal, non-facilitated format, to share about the grief experience and support one another.

Virtual Peer Support Group
December 2, 2020, 8:00pm – 9:30pm

Virtual Peer Support Group
December 9, 2020, 8:00pm – 9:30pm

» Home Fire and Life Safety Tips During the COVID-19 Crisis «


Focusing Our Energy

Ashley Whitmore

Ashley Whitmore

Family Programs Support Specialist
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Beverly Donlon

Beverly Donlon

Director of Family Programs
Train your mind to see the good in everything. Positivity is a choice; the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
Anonymous

Eric Nagle

Eric Nagle

Family Programs Specialist
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Vivian Greene

Jenny Woodall

Jenny Woodall

Grief Specialist
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Erin Browning

Erin Browning

Outreach Assistant
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day
is the rest we take between two deep breaths.

Etty Hillesum

Forever in Our Hearts®
Resources for Families of Fallen Firefighters

Families of fallen firefighters face a long and difficult journey. While the rest of the world moves on, family members must figure out how to live without their loved one. The Foundation offers a variety of programs and materials to help during this most difficult time.

Most importantly, we want you to know that you are not alone. There are others who understand your loss and honor your loved one’s memory.

Fire Hero Family Programs

  • NFFF and Partner Scholarship Programs
    The Foundation offers financial assistance for post-secondary education and training to spouses, life partners, children and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Memorial.
  • Wellness Conference
    This special week of activities is designed to address issues related to loss, provide training for those providing outreach to others, and provide a chance to network with other fire hero families.
  • Remembrance Program
    During the anniversary month of their firefighter’s death, families receive a Remembrance card from another fire hero family member.
  • Hal Bruno Camps for Children of Fallen Firefighters
    This is a weekend bereavement camp for children and stepchildren of fallen firefighters who have been honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg.
  • Programs for Young Adults
    The Foundation offers programs for young adults, ages 18-24, whose firefighter parent died in the line of duty.
  • Memorial Weekend
    Every October, the Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. The weekend features private activities for fire hero families and co-workers, along with public ceremonies.
  • Winter Family Retreat
    A multi-day event for all ages and family members, focused on fellowship, self-care, and giving back during the holidays.
  • National Fallen Firefighters Holiday Tree Lighting
    Each December, ornaments, holiday cards, and notes provided by Fire Hero Families adorn trees in and around the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel. These tributes in honor of fallen firefighters remain on display throughout the holiday season.

Family Benefit Information

To help with immediate and long-term financial concerns, we can help families find information on benefits available at the national level and in each state. The Foundation’s Scholarship Program can help fire hero families achieve their educational goals.

Fire Hero Family Resources and Information

Memorial Weekend Information

Family Resources

Fire Hero Family Network

Survivors can provide unique support to one another. Simply connecting with someone who has lost a firefighter can offer a sense of hope.

Survivor Benefits

Family Benefits

The NFFF has conducted extensive researchto identify the range of benefits available to survivors of firefighters who died in the line of duty.

Outward Bound 2018

Programs for Young Adults

For a child, losing a parent changes life forever, even into adulthood. The Foundation offers programs for young adults to focus on grief and on building life skills.

Scholarships

The NFFF offers assistance for post-secondary education/training to spouses, partners, children and stepchildren of firefighters.