Guided by founder Andrew Carnegie’s intentions, the Hero Fund has recently entered into two new partnerships — one to recognize the heroism and sacrifice of healthcare workers and volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the other to continue to shine a light on all heroes through the creation of a National Heroes Day in the U.S.
National Heroes Day
On July 20, 2021, Reps. Jason Crow and Ed Perlmutter, representing Colorado’s sixth and seventh districts, introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate July 20 as “National Heroes Day” to honor the sacrifices of everyday heroes.
“The (Colorado movie theater shooting) tragedy brought to light incredible heroism by the first responders and medical teams whose tireless efforts saved lives, those who carried the wounded to safety, and those who sacrificed themselves to save others,” stated a joint press release from the offices of Crow and Perlmutter, as well as organizer Anita Busch and the Hero Fund.
“The Carnegie Hero Fund is proud to support the National Heroes Day initiative and its efforts to shine a light on everyday heroes all around us,” said Eric Zahren, president of the Hero Fund. “A national day of honoring the selflessness of our society’s everyday heroes is long overdue.”
The goal of the resolution is to designate every July 20 as National Heroes Day to serve as a reminder to exhibit the same spirit of courage and service shown by everyday heroes by performing good deeds and engaging in community service or other charitable activities — something that Carnegie also desired with the creation of the Hero Fund.
“There is not much good to be done in the world without publicity,” Carnegie wrote in a May 31, 1905, letter to the Hero Fund’s first president, Charles Taylor. “You must attract the attention of the people. This leads them to think and to appreciate the work that you are doing, and finally to stir within themselves the desire to go and do likewise.”
Brave of Heart Fund
Earlier this year, the Hero Fund donated $100,000 to the Brave of Heart Fund, established to provide financial and emotional support to the surviving family members of frontline healthcare workers and volunteers who lost their lives to COVID-19.
The financial contribution comes after the Hero Fund’s executive committee voted to provide recognition and support to frontline workers who risked their lives aiding in the care of those with COVID-19. The committee found their endorsement from Hero Fund founder Andrew Carnegie, who wrote in the century-old organization’s Deed of Trust that, “No action (is) more heroic than that of doctors and nurses volunteering their services in the case of epidemics.”
Commission member Peter J. Lambrou, M.D., added, “The Hero Fund is proud to partner with the Brave of Heart Fund to support those who have lost loved ones who committed to selflessly serve others. And we commend and support all those who continue the fight.”
Brave of Heart was co-founded by the Foundations of New York Life and Cigna, industry-leading financial and health service organizations, alongside charitable partner, E4E Relief. Over the last year, the fund has granted $17.6 million to more than 510 surviving families from 40 states around the country.
“We are honored to receive this generous donation from the Carnegie Hero Fund,” said E4E Relief CEO Holly Welch Stubbing. “We have been overwhelmed with the incredible stories of dedication and sacrifice shared by the surviving families of healthcare heroes that the fund has supported thus far. The Carnegie Hero Fund is an ideal partner to both honor those legacies and to reach more eligible families to support.”