Reflecting On 2020
January 10th 2021Blog Post
This past year has been an absolute whirlwind for Reps For Responders, in some of the best ways possible.
In March 2020, Reps For Responders non-profit was born to help first responders struggling with their mental health to meet them where they are at, and help them manage work, life and everything in between. Our Founder, Frank, recognized the serious problem within the first responder community where first responders don't feel safe enough to seek help when they know they are struggling with some aspect of their life whether it be work/life balance, addiction, stress, PTSD, anxiety, depression and more. First responder culture doesn't allow for vulnerability. Instead, it results in consequences, leaving first responders to navigate life's challenges alone, and in turn, leaving them to their own devices. Therein lies a problem where individuals who witness abnormal circumstances on a daily basis and are constantly in a state of hypervigilance, who also have their own personal circumstances that impact their mental health and wellbeing, with no time to process or address these things just going through the motions every day and trying to survive "the job". Most individuals don't have a place to go, the awareness, or the tools in their toolbox to address these concerns. Enter, Reps For Responders.
Before COVID-19, Reps For Responders had a physical gym space where first responders could workout for free and meet other first responders from all different professions. As a result of the pandemic, Reps For Responders pivoted to a more virtual presence, and in the long run allowed us to reach more first responders than we could have imagined in our first year of operation.
We want to show you how your contributions have helped us give back to first responders. This past year, Reps for Responders has:
- Facilitated over 48 Responder Talk group support meetings resulting in 492 total first responder check ins from over 15 states.
- Hosted 4 community fitness events to honor the 228 police officers who lost their lives to suicide in 2019 with over 150 participants.
- Participated in/donated to Toys For Tots event with the NYPD Powerlifting team
- Donated nearly $6,000 to support first responder and military organizations and campaigns
- Recorded 28 podcasts on "Inside the Labyrinth" with first responders, professional athletes and other experts in their field to discuss wellness, and their personal journeys of fitness and mental health.
- Sponsored 6 First Responders for fitness memberships
- Sponsored 6 First Responders for nutrition programming
- Sponsored 2 First Responders for soft tissue massage
- Hosted 12 free open gym sessions for first responders
- Donated 4 Lulu Lemon Mats, 1 Theragun and 1 pair of No Bull trainers to 6 first responders
In 2021, we look forward to continuing to serve our first responder community, to provide the tools and resources to help them improve their overall wellness through fitness, nutrition, group support and community.
We are so thankful for all of the support at our events and the donations we have received so that we can provide our first responders with the tools to improve their lives, both on and off the job.