Core Programs and Initiatives
Donations to the First Responders Foundation support our key programs and provide additional funds for materials, equipment, and other initiatives for the police and fire departments. We work directly with each chief to fulfill wish lists and prioritize resources so donations go where they are needed most.
You may choose which programs, resources, or wish list items your donation supports, or it will be allocated to the area that will give your gift the greatest impact. As a nonprofit, the programs and resources we provide are privately funded and not connected to the city budget.
The #SupportBlue campaign recognizes and shows support for our brothers and sisters in law enforcement who put their lives on the line for us each and every day to make the community a better, safer place to live. The campaign has grown into a social media movement since its launch in early 2015, in part because of the community’s response in the aftermath of OPD officer Kerrie Orozco’s tragic death, and it has received national attention and inspired other grassroots efforts aimed at supporting police. The campaign works to publicly recognize officers and educate other police departments on positive community-police relations.
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Youth Athletic Program
We collaborate with PACE (Police Athletics for Community Engagement) to fund free athletics for at-risk youth in North and South Omaha. Police officers volunteer as coaches and mentors in soccer, baseball, and volleyball for kids from poverty-stricken areas to encourage them to become productive citizens by keeping them off the streets, out of gangs, and drug-free.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Program
We partner with the Omaha Fire Department to provide and install free, tamper-proof, and long-lasting combination alarms in every home in under-served areas. We want Omaha to be the first city in the country to have all the homes in low-income areas protected with this critically important device that saves lives and keeps people safe in their homes.
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Thumbs Up Program
With the “Thumbs Up” initiative, children are encouraged to give police officers and firefighters a “thumbs up” whenever they see them. The thumbs up gesture is a way to show respect and say “thank you” for everything first responders do for us. The program is active in the Westside, Millard, Ralston, Elkhorn, and OPS school districts and includes 107 schools and 62,000 students.