Published June 17, 2014
Volume 22, Number 6

Foundation Aims to Help Families of Military, Police and Fire
Benefits for Fallen Heros Foundation

By Zoe Francis

The community should support the families of public safety servants who die in the line of duty, whether they be police, firefighters or military personnel.
That’s the idea behind the fledgling Benefits for Fallen Heroes foundation started nearly two years ago by Livermore resident Bob Bishop.
“It’s very important for a community to make it abundantly clear that the families that provide the safety and security so the rest of us can go about our daily lives should be supported,” Bishop said. “The community should be there to help those families in the time of need if anything should happen to them.”
Bishop is an engineer who has worked as a civilian contractor for the military, government and law enforcement. He got the idea for BFF Heroes while working on a defense department contract at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
“In working at (the lab), a buddy of mine lost his son in Afghanistan,” he recalled. “That turned the switch. I decided it was time to do something to give back to the community and raise awareness and support for families who pay the ultimate sacrifice.”
“That was how I started thinking about the commitment people make when they choose a career in law enforcement, military or fire,” he continued. “The military provides the greater envelope that provides law enforcement and fire the ability to provide those services to their communities.”
While the formal nonprofit status for BFF Heroes is pending, Bishop is hard at work recruiting supporters and brainstorming ways to raise funds. Ideas for fundraisers include separate poker, golf and bowling tournaments and a 5K run/walk.
“We want to have smaller, more intimate events to allow people to follow their passion, but also to help the foundation,” he explained.
Bishop is actively recruiting enthusiastic volunteers to help organize fundraisers and spread the word about BFF Heroes.
“We need people who want to get involved and help with the running of the foundation and the planning,” he said. “It helps when you have a committee and a team to work together.”
Bishop has learned it takes an extreme amount of hard work to launch a nonprofit that will ultimately give back to the community.
“I’ve had several events, (like) fundraisers and dinner parties, to raise money,” he said. “The goal this far has been to raise awareness and get the community involved in these activities. One person can’t do everything, but one person can rally the support and get their community involved.”
Bishop’s two major goals are to raise enough money to help families of fallen police, fire or military personnel and to provide mentoring to the children left behind by such loss.
“Say a 7-year-old boy loses a father,” he explained. “We understand that can never be replaced. But we want to make sure that there’s a (mentor) who can help this boy keep his sights focused on developing his life in a positive manner.”
Learn more about Benefits for Fallen Heroes and make an online donation at bffheroes.com. Contact Bob Bishop at bob@bffheroes.com.


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