Amid a global pandemic, destructive wildfires and an extremely active hurricane season, first responders are fighting harder than ever on the frontlines. In honor of its 15th anniversary, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is continuing its annual First Responders Month fundraiser with the goal of raising $1 million to properly equip and protect first responders. To support the initiative, guests are encouraged to visit any local Firehouse Subs restaurant or FirstRespondersMonth.org during the month of October to purchase a virtual medallion in the amount of $1, $5, $15 or $30.
This year’s theme, “Help the Helpers” emphasizes that the need to help first responders has never been greater as front-line heroes are battling COVID-19 and seemingly endless natural disasters, on top of their usual call volume.
“The Foundation’s mission is to help those who put their lives on the line every day to help their communities,” says Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Robin Peters. “That need is greater than ever this year, which is why we’re helping the helpers by raising money to buy much-needed equipment and resources for first responders this month.”
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded 15 years ago following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Firehouse Subs Founders Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen traveled to Mississippi to provide food to first responders and survivors. As they traveled back to Florida, they knew they could do more, and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born with the mission of providing lifesaving equipment, prevention education and resources to first responders and public safety organizations. Today, the non-profit organization has granted more than $53 million in 49 states and Puerto Rico.
Throughout October, guests can help Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation reach its $1 million fundraising goal by purchasing medallions in the amount of $1, $5, $15 or $30. For the first time, medallions will be virtual to create a touchless experience between staff and guests, in addition to the many other efforts being made to reduce contact in restaurants. All funds raised will benefit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to help provide lifesaving equipment and training for first responders and public safety organizations. In addition to medallion donations, a portion of every purchase made at U.S. Firehouse Subs locations support the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awards grants on a quarterly basis which are given to first responders and non-profits that support community safety. A majority of grants go towards purchasing lifesaving equipment for first responder organizations. Equipment examples include items like bunker coats ($1,000-$1,300), thermal imaging cameras ($10,000), automated external defibrillators (AEDs) ($1,500), all-terrain vehicles ($20,000) and vehicle extrication tools ($25,000). Organizations interested in applying for a grant can do so through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation online grant application site: FirehouseSubsFoundation.org.