We never heard the word “regret.”
These healthcare workers took care of us.
They protected our families.
Here’s how the Brave of Heart Fund helped take care of theirs.
A theme woven throughout the collective stories shared by these bereaved families is that their loved ones were “where they were supposed to be” during the pandemic. They acknowledged the risks, and that serious illness – even death – was a possible outcome as they continued to serve others and do their jobs in healthcare settings. We felt the immense pride these families held of their loved ones – and also, their profound grief.
The families of these deceased healthcare workers faced immediate and extraordinary personal, financial, and psychological losses.
- Over 80% of grantee households lost their sole or primary income provider.
- More than two-thirds of Brave of Heart Fund grantees lost their spouse or partner.
- More than 60% of grantee households have at least one dependent.
- For over a third of the grantee families, the Brave of Heart funding was the only financial support they received after losing their loved one.
Keeping them in their homes
More than half of grantees saw their household incomes drop to under $50,000 or less.
The grants helped two-thirds of recipients pay their rent or mortgage, so they could remain in their current homes.
This grant came at a time when I was completely unprepared to deal with managing the financial aspects of our household. One of the things that I most admired about my husband was how he kept our family safe. We were never in fear of losing our home or missing a payment. He was an excellent provider. Being thrust into this new role where I had to step into his shoes was difficult for me.
Wife of a nurse
Rockland County, NY
The amount of financial stress that the grant removed from my life at the time of my husband’s passing was incredibly helpful, as my household income dropped by 50%. It has given me time to address my living situation and find a way to stay in my home.
Wife of a nurse
Thank you!! I lost my mother, and I will never get her back. I know for a fact that if it wasn’t for this grant I would be on the street trying to figure things out. Because of Brave of Heart, I can breathe a bit better. I still need to get financially secure, but I couldn’t have my mother’s house without you.
Son of a nurse
The Bronx, NY
The grant relieved so much stress early on in the death of my husband. The grant money came faster than ANY other money. Faster than life insurance, faster than pension, faster than retirement.
Wife of an X-ray technician
The Brave of Heart grant has allowed me to be able to sleep at night knowing me and my children can stay in the home my husband worked so hard for us to live in. I miss my husband every day. Once again, I thank God for the Brave of Heart Fund.
Wife of prison hospital correctional officer
Financial stability and basic life needs
The majority of grant recipients reported experiencing negative effects on their daily lives, like receiving a late fee on at least one bill* or being absent at work.
Prior to receiving a grant, about one-third of grantees skipped meals or downgraded their food choices. And, about one-quarter skipped medical care or delayed their own medical needs (including refilling prescriptions).
*People of color were more likely than white grantees to have received a late fee on a bill and/or to have had utilities shut off prior to receiving the grant.
Brave of Heart Fund literally saved me and my children from bankruptcy. We could not have made it without the help. While we’re so appreciative of the help we received from friends and co-workers, it would not have lasted even a month to cover bills and expenses. We would have been homeless. We also would not have been able to mourn properly from worrying constantly about where our next meal was coming from.
Wife of a physician assistant
Your generosity is overwhelming. I was looking forward to a bleak financial future and potentially losing my home, vehicle, and everything my wife and I had worked for, for 37 years. Now those fears are put to rest thanks to the Brave of Heart Fund.
Husband of a doctor
Daytona Beach, FL
The Brave of Heart Fund gave me hope and the assurance that others care about these dedicated and hard-working members of society (like my late husband). The grant has afforded me the opportunity to pay some of my bills and manage my living expenses. I am totally grateful to the Brave of Heart Fund for assisting my family.
Wife of a security officer
Thank you so much. The grant was a godsend. I was able to take 2 weeks off work to grieve, and had the money to order a headstone. Without the grant I would not have been able to get the headstone until I had more income, and that would have felt awful. Like I was not honoring him.
Wife of a doctor
I would like to simply say THANK YOU. Having to deal with the loss of a spouse and worry about the household is a disaster. This grant will help me tremendously.
Husband of a dietician
I have worked since I was 13, and have no issue working, but raising 7 kids and dealing with the emotions related to their dad’s death has been overwhelming. The funds definitely alleviated stress and gave me the cushion I needed to get through this next year and help them. I’m just so very thankful.
Wife of an IT clinical analyst
This grant is such a blessing to those of us blindsided by the loss of our loved one to COVID-19. I am now a single mother to a 10-year-old child on a single income, and wait times for applying for benefits are 3-6 months backlogged due to the pandemic. I am eternally grateful to be a recipient of the BOH grant to help provide for and maintain my household.
Parent of a child whose father was a medical technician
Just knowing y’all were out there was a balm. Money for a proper memorial was a true blessing, and allowed us to have the ceremony we desired without emptying our savings. Thank you.
Husband of home health aide
Brave of Heart Fund has given me and my family hope and peace of mind. They gave us a new lease on life during a time when I don’t know when I’ll return to work due to temporary shutdowns. I am really grateful for these relief funds.
Son of a home health aide
The Bronx, NY
The time when no one cared for us, Brave of Heart was there to support us. The funds were such a big relief to my family and helped us pay the household utility bills, house mortgage, funeral and cemetery expenses. Thank you very much.
Wife of cafeteria worker
Words cannot describe the depth of gratitude that we have. My mother’s funeral took a great deal of money, and to receive it back was not only a blessing to us, but an honor to her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your genuine commitment to seeing us through the entire process, and for your care and concern for our family.
Son of a medical technician
New Haven, CT
Nearly one-third of all grantees responded “I don’t know” regarding how they would have managed expenses associated with their loss if they had not received Brave of Heart funds. This sentiment is even more prevalent in lower income households, where presence of retirement savings or death benefits is also lower.
These funds helped grantees free up their personal mental bandwidth to figure out next steps. Additionally, those with dependents and children were able to direct more attention to these significant personal relationships.
My life has been hard since my father’s passing, but Brave of Heart has been such a blessing. The money saved me from so much worry, as I am trying to do more for myself and my family. I can’t thank you enough, I can’t repay you, and I cry every time I think about how wonderful you have been.
Son of a custodian
Los Angeles, CA
The Brave of Heart grant has helped me and my family in many ways. I am able to concentrate on getting physically healthier and attending to the needs of my children with much less stress. I went from not knowing how I was going to provide for my family, to being able to do just that for at least a couple of years with careful planning. I am deeply grateful. Thank you!
Wife of EMT
I was able to lay my husband to rest, and now the kids and I have place to visit him. I thank Brave of Heart for all the help during this difficult time and for relieving some of the stress.
Wife of a health systems IT manager
The Bronx, NY
Thank you for supporting and understanding that the loss involves more than just losing a physical person. There’s loss of income, grief, the burden of now being a single income household, stress, stigma, and fear. So grateful!
Wife of a physical therapy assistant
I am extremely grateful to have been awarded this grant. Without it I don’t think I could have gotten through burying my loved one and picking up the pieces of my life afterwards.
Daughter of a nurse
Los Angeles, CA
This money was life-changing at the worst time in my life, and in my daughter’s life.
Wife of a health care administrator
Los Angeles, CA
In a world with so much pain and hate, I am so grateful to have had the help and support from such a wonderful program. Brave of Heart Fund helped me and my daughter in one of the darkest times of our lives. Thank you, thank you.
Daughter of a certified nurse assistant
East Windsor, NJ
Hope for the future
Grantees feel more hopeful about their ability to move forward and recover, have reduced stress, and feel less alone after receiving these funds.
Over two-thirds of grantees report being somewhat, moderately, or very confident that their households are doing what is needed to meet their longer-term goals (like saving for retirement or future education).
The loss of my child, who was a nurse, was horrific. But the people at Brave of Heart made the light at the end of the long walk in the tunnel become clear and quick. I thank you with all my heart.
Mother of a nurse
The Villages, FL
This money was a lifesaver for our family when we were in the middle of a storm. It helped give us room to spend time together as a family and give my children the support they needed during this very hard and confusing time for them. I’ve had peace of mind knowing that I have a cushion to lean on, and the confidence to start the process of looking for a home for me and my kids.
Wife of a firefighter/EMT
My love and many blessings go to staff and donors of the Brave of Heart Fund. Covid took away loved ones from thousands of people and left us financially and emotionally in despair. Your organization gave us some peace of mind, and showed us that in this world people still care. I would always be grateful to you and thank God that help still comes from angels.
Father of a medical technician
Simi Valley, CA
This fund has helped my family out in so many ways. Our lives will never be the same. There is no amount of money that can take away the grief, but it can give us hope for a better tomorrow as we learn to carry on without our loved ones. When I was thinking about our future and how to best move forward, Brave of Heart reached out and showed me that someone out there truly cares. All I can say is thank you all for giving me a chance to give my kids a future. I don’t know what tomorrow might bring, but I do know that today is a lot better than yesterday.
Husband of a nurse
Fort Wayne, IN
Brave of Heart was a lifeline, and an absolute blessing that saved our family. It gave us hope, and allowed us to focus on healing and our grief instead of looming bills.
Wife of a medical technician
Lake Havasu, AZ
If only you knew how this grant has not only saved my family but my own mental state as well. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I knew God was going to provide but the concern was still there. At 51 years old I have a 3-year-old. Daycare is so expensive. Now she gets to go, and I can work without having to worry. Thank you all so much! Nothing can ever bring back my husband, but I can go back to school and get that bachelor’s in business administration and my kids can have a life that doesn’t including Mommy worrying about how the bills will get paid. How can I say in words how much I appreciate Brave of Heart Fund? There are no words.
Wife of a nurse
I have set the money I received from the Brave of Heart Fund aside as I make a financial plan for the future of my two children. As we recover from the grief of losing our loved one, I am encouraged to know I have time to make clear-headed decisions for education and retirement with the help of a financial advisor rather than scrambling to live paycheck to paycheck. Before the BOH fund, I had a 6-month plan. I am now able to make a 20-year plan.
Parent of two children whose father was a health care administrator
You saved my life. I had no way out. I tried everything, and it all felt hopeless. You literally changed my life for the better. I thank God every day for The Brave of Heart Fund and E4E Relief. When the rug was pulled from under me, you helped to bring a solid place to stand. Thank you for everything. I’m eternally grateful.
Wife of a medical technician
Jersey City, NJ
Thank you. It helped in starting over.
Wife of an EMT
San Antonio, TX