Actor and musician Gary Sinise and his foundation have launched a new initiative in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis: the “Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service,” which is doing its part to meet the needs of first responders and healthcare professionals. Since launching just a few weeks ago, the campaign has provided over 4,700 pieces of personal protective equipment, assisted nearly 50 first responder departments and provided over $200,000 in total grants to those on the front lines of the effort to combat COVID-19.
“With the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the nation, the Gary Sinise Foundation has launched a dedicated campaign called, Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service, which addresses the needs and priorities of those it is entrusted by the American people to serve and honor, with the addition of healthcare professionals,” a press release published on the foundation’s website reads.
“During this public health crisis, Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service will be the gateway for providing grants to first responders in need of personal protective equipment when answering COVID-19 service calls,” the foundation states. “Financial assistance is also available to healthcare professionals, service members, veterans, first responders, and their families who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus.”
In a video posted on YouTube on April 1, Sinise announced the new COVID-19 campaign:
“Since announcing the availability of First Responder grants on March 9, the Foundation has made strides in reaching departments in need of personal protective equipment and essential gear utilized in the fight against COVID-19,” the release reads. Thus far in its effort to fight the pandemic, the campaign has contributed 4,722 pieces of personal protective equipment, assisted 47 first responder departments across the nation, assisted 21 states, and provided $208,930 in grants.
The mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which the actor founded in 2011, is to serve the nation “by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need” by “creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”
“Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted,” said Sinise. “We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”
Below are some of the contributions the popular actor’s foundation has made to the nation’s defenders over the years:
- 61 specially adapted smart homes complete for severely wounded veterans
- 197,313+ meals served to the nation’s defenders
- 102,400+ people have attended the organization’s Invincible Spirit Festivals since 2012
- 233 emergency relief grants awarded to police, firefighters, and EMTs
- 445 essential pieces of equipment donated to first responders
- 1,135 first responder training grants
- 20 homes modified for defenders
- 16 adapted vehicles
- 17 mobility devices for veterans
- 5,250+ children of fallen military heroes and their surviving parent or guardian have joined the organization’s Snowball Express since 2018
- 488+ support concerts since 2003 in which Gary has performed, of which 273 were performed since the Gary Sinise Foundation began