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Review for Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund Inc, Watertown, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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