NATIONAL NIGHT OUT IS AN ANNUAL COMMUNITY-BUILDING CAMPAIGN THAT PROMOTES POLICE-COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND NEIGHBORHOOD CAMARADERIE
First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), the nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to children who have lost a first responder parent, partnered with CSX, one of the nation’s leading transportation companies to present National Night Out, a community-building campaign that promotes police-community relationships and neighborhood camaraderie. FRCF and CSX will be distributing free backpacks in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina during the 2021 back-to-school season.
“In creating National Night Out, my hope was to reach the community and let them see the officers of our department in a positive light. The event brings police officers and the members of the community together in a fun setting and gives them the opportunity to get to know the officers and ask questions,” said Lieutenant Matt Oglesbee, of the Bluffton Police Department in Bluffton, S.C.
National Night Out is a police-community event that aims to bring about more neighborhood camaraderie.”
“As a Foundation, our central mission is to create strong relationships with first responder agencies and assist them in fostering partnerships within their communities” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “By providing backpacks to distribute, these public-private relationships are helping to grow trust with the communities’ youth, who need our help now more than ever. These community-building events in Michigan are another step towards the goal of bringing police officers and their communities together, providing a one-to-one platform that fosters new, positive relationships. By establishing bonds with the children they serve, the police officers’ ability to provide mentorships is enhanced in a way that says ‘we care about you.'”
As part of FRCF’s “The Power of Play” program, CSX has helped get backpacks and toys out to local agencies they partner with. Through a groundbreaking commitment, CSX has extended its Pride in Service initiative to national and local heroes – veterans, military and first responders, connecting them and their families to what they need, when they need it. Toys For Tots, Good 360, Mattel and SoundOff have also partnered with FRCF in the distribution of the backpacks and in helping to cover the cost of shipping.
For 20 years, FRCF has focused on the social and emotional well-being of the children of first responders. Now more than ever, these kids are faced with undeniable stress: in the COVID and post-COVID world, schools have been closed, learning has been remote and kids have had severely limited social interaction. This combination of challenges has taken its toll. Additionally, many of these same children experienced hardship and loss within their own families. “The Power of Play” can help unlock the healing that they need, because the benefits of play include gaining confidence, managing stress and anxiety, resisting negative social pressure, resolving conflicts, making decisions and developing relationship skills.
About First Responders Children’s Foundation
For 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports educational activities and programs created by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund provides financial hardship grants, PPE and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at www.1stRCF.org. Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1stRCF
About National Night Out
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August (Texas and select areas celebrate on the first Tuesday in October). Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.
SOURCE First Responders Children’s Foundation