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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Public Health

Direct beneficiaries per year: 9/11 FDNY firefighters suffering from PTSD, raised money for new equipment for a volunteer fire dept., and provided holistic healthcare and rehab for firefighters suffering chronic pain and PTSD.

Programs: The Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund is dedicated to providing financial and medical rehabilitative support to firefighters. A 501(c)3 organization, the Fund uses charitable contributions to offer access to alternative healthcare for illness, injury, and post-traumatic stress disorders associated with exposures to traumatic events, as well as to seek donations of supplies and materials necessary to rectify unacceptable conditions and equipment in firehouses. We vigorously support firefighters through action and compassion.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jessica Locke and The Fire Fighters Fund has helped the Newton Fire Department in so many ways. Jessica has gone from station to station and documented the problems and needs of each of the members. She has written letters, held signs along with firefighters at various protests and pressured city officials to replace outdated, unsafe equipment and apparatus. She even went as far as creating a video to document and dispute the findings of city officials as to the cause of a serious accident involving a 24 year old fire engine the city still had in service. She has been a true advocate for members of our department.

As for the Alexander Technique, I can't say enough about it. After suffering headaches daily for 20 years, Jessica's work has reduced that to an occasional one here and there. It definitely made a difference.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a firefighter who has been directly effected by the dedicated hard work of Jessica Locke and her Firefighter's Fund. Jessica has done much to raise the needed funds for safety equipment for our department and has been at the forefront when it came to addressing these issues with those who hold the purse strings in the city. Jessica has been and continues to be nothing short of a God send to this department and we are truely grateful for all that she has done. Thank You Jessica !!

"The Senator"

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the wife of a Newton Fire fighter, and through the department I have had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Locke. Jessica has gone above and beyond over the last decade to come to the aide of the New York Fire Fighters. Jessica put her life on hold to help the NY fire fighters, and ten years later she is still such an amazing advocate for our fire fighters.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the wife of a Newton Firefighter and was introduced to Jessica Locke, Director of the Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund, several years ago when the Newton Fire Department was in a heated battle with the City’s administration. Fire stations had been neglected to the point where they became a safety hazard to anyone inside; firefighters were injured by the aging and unsafe apparatus; basic firefighter equipment was outdated, malfunctioning or non-existent. The NFD at that point had gone several years without a contract and were up against a Mayor who had great animosity and disrespect towards the members of his own fire department.

When I met Jessica I was immediately impressed and inspired by this very dedicated and caring individual. She set out to make it her goal to see that the men and women of the NFD were treated with the respect they deserved and had equipment that was safe.

She got to work writing articles, protesting, holding signs, and testifying on behalf of the firefighters at City Hall meetings. She involved the media and got results. She successfully organized and ran a fundraiser that resulted in raising $12,000 for equipment for the Newton Firefighters. Every year on September 11th, Jessica organizes local restaurants, businesses, and residents and provides dinner for each of the fire stations. Her presence has been a great morale booster especially at times when it was most needed.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a firefighter in Massachusetts, and I've had the pleasure of meeting Jessica, and learning about all she does for the fire service. She has raised funds to buy our department much needed equipment which provides safety for our residents and ourselves. She is dedicated in her pursuit to help firefighters, and we appreciate all her efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best thing that I can say about Jessica Locke and The Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund is the humility in which business is conducted. The firefighting profession is a lot like insurance, you hate paying the premium but heaven forbid that you do not have insurance when you need it. Sometimes it is very difficult to get your cause known. When you have someone like Jessica backing your causes it really strengthens your credibility. Jessica does this with virtually nothing in return except the satisfaction of knowing what she is fighting for is a just cause. The effort and time that Jessica puts in is amazing. The results the Jessica achieves is immeasurable. We as firefighters who have benefited from her foundation will be forever indebted to her.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jessica Locke has always been chivalrous and self-sacrificing when it comes to helping firefighters in need. Not only does rally as a political ally, but she has held fundraisers in order to donate much needed equipment for Newton firefighters. As if her political and fundraising support isn't enough, Jessica Locke has also donated her time and expertise as a master of the Alexander Technique to injured firefighters, which I have personally experienced first hand and will be forever grateful for her kindness. Jessica Locke is passionately concerned about the health and well being of firefighters.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jessica has always been very supportive of our union/Fire Dept, her dedication and determination to see that we are treated fairly and with respect sometimes outweighs that of some of our own members.

Most recently Jessica and her associates held a private fund raiser for us. She, through her fund, was able to raise money for us to purchase impotant equpment, ehich up to now the City of Newton has declines to purchase.

I also understand that Jessica not only has done many good deads for Newton, but has also done a ton of work for surrounding communities and N.Y. City.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jessica is true friend of firemen, she understands the trials and tribulations of the men on the front line of the fire service. Jessica selflessly gives her time to many great causes that affect firemen and more importantly the ones close to them....coming from a fireman it means alot to me...

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jessicas Fund Should be changed to Jessicas Passion , Never have I experience a fund with more love than money, Her devotion to bring respect and appreciation back to the dedicated Fire fighter that risk their lifes to save others. Her passion and carreer is devoted to this cause . There are people who donate and there are people that dedicate , In my 32 yrs I've not seen "A Cause" with more love and support of all Firefighters that get left to battle there fight for life, , She gives her heart, soul and time so they won't be forgotten.. Jessica ,you will always be in our Hearts as you keep ours in yours.. TonyC.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a firefighter of the FDNY and was a first responder to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I first met Jessica at the firehouse where I worked which was about 5 minutes from the WTC. Jessica strolled in, innocent as could be, and offered to me and my brothers an Alexander Technique session. Before you knew it, Jessica became an unofficial, official member of our fire house. She was the only one.



For months on end, Jessica visited many times offering sessions, assessing what we needed, and getting things like ice machines donated to many firehouses in the area. Little did I know, all this time that I thought Jessica was helping us, it turns out that we were helping her. Jessica wrote a book about her experiences entitled 'Rescue at Engine 32.'



From day 1, Jessica vowed to help firefighters at times when we couldn't help ourselves. She still returns to NYC to provide the Alexander work for our members, as well as to firefighters in other parts of the country. If there were more people like Jessica in the world, it would be a much better place.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met Jessica Locke several years ago when the Newton Firefighters were having difficulties with outdated or lack of safety equipment. Introducing herself as the Director of the Firefighters Fund, she delved into all aspects of the City of Newton's Fire Department but focused on safety. I have the greatest of admiration for Ms. Locke and the Firefighters Fund, which by the way held our biggest fundraiser to date for funds going towards the purchase of firefighter safety equipment.
I could give many more examples of The Firefighters Fund's impact on the fire department I work for but, in my opinion, to get a sense of The Firefighters Fund and what it stands for, you have to meet Jessica in person. I myself was curious as to the genesis of the Firefighters Fund and why did she care so much. Her vision, I believe, is asking a simple question: "what is the right thing to do?". This is truly her benchmark, and for me, leaves a lasting impression of what The Firefighters Fund is all about.
Lieutenant Richard V. Toli, Jr. Newton Firefighters Association

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a member of the FDNY and was a first responder to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Shortly thereafter I was promoted to Captain and was assigned to a firehouse very close to Ground Zero. This company lost four members operating in the North Tower. In the weeks and months following the attacks the members of this company and I spent many long and hours in the recovery effort at the site. We did this while responding to our usual calls for fires and emergencies. This heavy workload took a heavy emotional toll on us all. Offers of help poured in from many quarters. The one which stood out most for us was a visit from Jessica Locke. Jessica is a practitioner of the Alexander Technique. She explained the basics of this method and gently insisted each of us submit to a session. The calming, soothing effects could be felt before a first session was even completed. I personally felt less stressed and began to sleep better almost immediately. I would recommend this unique treatment to anyone experiencing the effects of stressful, demanding circumstances. Jessica adopted our firehouse, and at her own expense repeatedly travelled to NYC to provide Alexander sessions for us. Her concern for our welfare continues to this day. She still returns to NYC to provide this work for our members. Jessica is a dedicated, compassionate professional. The benefits of her work with us have been immeasurable. With the help of people like Jessica we have all come a long way in the process of recovery and healing from the traumatic experiences of 9/11. James Fody Battalion Chief FDNY

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My name is Tom Lopez and I am the President of the Newton Firefighters Association. It is with great pleasure that I have this opportunity to share with everyone what a wonderful experience we have had with Jessica Locke and the Firefighters Fund. I first met Jessica in October 2006 when the Newton Firefighters had been engaged in a difficult battle with the sitting mayor. We had been without a contract for three years and the six fire stations were crumbling all around us. Jessica had heard we had no screens on our windows from some firefighters in her own community in Watertown and she wanted to help. After giving Jessica a full review of what we had faced and seeing the utter frustration in her face, she turned a simple mission of getting screens for our windows into a whole lot more. Over the last four years, with dedication and a relentless perseverance, Jessica and the Firefighters Fund raised the awareness of the unsafe and deplorable working conditions in our fire stations to a level never seen before in this community. Her commitment to her mission never wavered, and, with the assistance of some of the local politicians, they forced the mayor into a ten year renovation plan for the six fire stations. Jessica did not stop there. During her fire station endeavors, it became abundantly clear the there was a strong need to address the dilapidated safety equipment that was being used on a daily basis. The lack of investment in firefighter safety was abundantly clear and never more so than in the late night hours on May 25, 2007 when Lt Rich Geary was run over by a malfunctioning 24 year old fire truck. Jessica spent the next year taking whatever steps necessary to bring this injustice to the forefront. From testifying in front of the Board of Alderman, meeting with the media, or standing on a busy street corner holding a picket sign – there was no stopping her. It has not been all confrontational. It is true that Jessica has put much attention on the many needs that we face here in Newton but she has also worked diligently to raise awareness of what all firefighters do for their communities, the sacrifice and dangers that we face on a daily basis in order to protect the citizens of our communities. Since we have been blessed with the presence of Jessica Locke and the Firefighters Fund, we have seen one fire station renovated with the second to begin any day now, four new fire trucks, and numerous safety equipment upgrades that undoubtedly would have taken many years to get done. Over the last three years she has arranged for a firefighter appreciation day on September 11 in the Greater Boston area, where local residents and restaurants provide meals for all the firefighters on duty that day, just as a way of saying thank you. The Firefighters Fund was created by a compassionate, dedicated, selfless, woman looking to do some good for a group of people who have given and suffered much. Many times, I have been asked what it is like to have met and worked alongside Jessica, and the only way I can describe it is: Jessica is the ray of sunshine that beams through the dark clouds as the storm passes by. You just know with Jessica there are better days coming. With the deepest appreciation, Tom Lopez President Newton Firefighters Association Local 863

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Darlene C. and I am the wife of Patrick C., (Retired) Professional Firefighter from the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Dept. I was first introduced to Ms. Jessica Locke under extreme hardship circumstances following my husband’s unanticipated early retirement due to SEVERE health issues related to 9/11/01. After a mental breakdown he suffered related to his working at the World Trade Center site, the fire department Union President advised me to retire my husband under an Ordinary Disability Pension. His salary discontinued the day he signed the papers and his pension wasn’t approved until after 8 long months. During that time, we lost our vehicle, began foreclosure of our home, utilities shut off (more than once) and were in desperate need of financial help and emotional support. Between 11/2006 and 09/2007 (within 10 months) my husband was inpatient on 3 occasions due to PTSD and on suicide watch each time. He was “out of it” and wasn’t receiving any help/support from his fire department. I didn’t know of anyone else in our situation. I was in a state of panic. Due to the fact that the Firefighters Fund had only recently achieved nonprofit status and had no funds in their account, Jessica Locke was not able to help us via the Firefighters Fund, but that did not stop Jessica from helping us. Jessica sent us money out of her own personal bank account on more than one occasion to make sure we had enough to eat, as well as reaching out to others (her own family and friends) from near and far, people we’ve never met, in order to get help to us ASAP. We received gift cards for food, gas, pet food from Jessica’s family members and friends. Jessica wrote letters and made personal phone calls to a Senator’s office; many other 9/11 foundations; the President of the Honda Corporation (re our repossessed auto and was able to help us receive “forgiveness” on the outstanding $8,000 balance owed to Honda!); to our MD (requesting forgiveness/reduction of medical bills exceeding $9.000). She acted as a reference if needed by other 9/11 foundations on our behalf. Beyond that, Jessica was a friend, a “shoulder” for me and was available to me for any reason, anytime. Jessica even made herself available to us while we were in need and she was on vacation. She didn’t want us to ever feel alone or abandoned. Jessica went above and beyond for our children. Our daughter had braces and we could no longer afford to have them tightened. Jessica reached out to a friend, a NYC firefighter, who graciously made payments for the remainder of our daughter’s orthodontic visits until it was paid in full. Jessica reached out to a fire company in Boston, and together they made it possible for my son to have a 16th birthday party in the midst of so much hardship. Christmas followed my son’s party, and we had no money (not even for a tree). Jessica and a friend reached out to a local nursery, they made it possible for us to have a beautiful Christmas tree and wreath for our home on Christmas. We didn’t have the ability to buy presents for our children. Jessica arranged for gifts to be sent. Jessica is a Godsend, and we call her “one of our Angels”. Thank you is not enough, there will never be enough words to thank Jessica for all she has done for us. Most Sincerely, Darlene C.

Review from Guidestar