Everyday thousands of officers and firefighters leave the comfort of their homes to go out into our communities to protect and serve. It is their calling. But who do our heroes turn to when they need help? When resources are limited, often one of the first cuts made are for training and protective gear. Our heroes are left without bullet proof vests, bunker gear or proper fitting breathing apparatus. Who shows up when they are faced with the hazards of the job or ill equipped? The 100 Club of Arizona tirelessly works to help provide assistance and resources to keep them safe as they serve to keep us safe. The 100 Club is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 50,000 public safety officers, firefighters, their families and agencies throughout the state of Arizona.
Many people hear about the 100 Club when a firefighter or officer is killed in the line of duty, but requests for assistance arrive every day. Although most public safety professionals maintain healthy and active lifestyles they are still susceptible to injuries, career related illnesses, critical incident, cumulative or post-traumatic stress disorder and a higher risk of death, yet they answer the call 24/7/365. They respond to 911 calls regardless of the race, political persuasion, age or social status. They are the helpers, the rescuers. They respond to cries of help, but they seldom ask for help. When they are faced with time off the job, unexpected medical expenses or other life altering events on or off duty, the 100 Club steps in to provide financial and emotional assistance to help them get back on the job sooner and healthier.
The 100 Club not only responds to tragedy but is proactive in preventing tragedy in the lives of our first responders. The Peer 100 program addresses the mental wellness while the Safety Enhancement program addresses the need for equipment or training to enhance their safety. Classes are offered for suicide awareness, alcohol and substance abuse, financial responsibility and critical incident and stress management. Financial support is offered when an officer or firefighter loses a spouse or a child and scholarships are available to family members to pursue a higher education. For the 2015-2016 academic year 108 scholarships were awarded to students entering or already attending college. This program is funded solely from community donations, memberships, and generous giving by sponsors.
In a time where first responders are not only fighting for their lives, but for their jobs the support of the community is very important. With help from generous donors such as the 20’s Phoenix Jewish Leaders Giving Circle, the 100 Club will continue to accomplish the mission of standing behind the men and women who stand behind the badge. Since inception the 100 Club has provided over 14 million dollars in assistance to our first responders. Thank you for your consideration and desire to make a difference in the lives of those who are willing to risk their lives to protect ours.
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