On Sunday, several families of fallen Chicago firefighters received a much needed helping hand from a fund dedicated to providing assistance to those in need.
“I was so grateful for everything the fire department did,” Julie Capuano, whose husband was killed fighting a fire in 2015, said.
Over the last two years, the Capuano’s are one of many families that has received assistance from the fire department’s EMWQ Fund, which helps the families of fallen firefighters.
In 2017, the EMWQ Fund raised more than $638,000, and numerous families received assistance from the program.
“I really came out to thank people who go beyond their means to help provide for others,” CFD Commissioner Jose Santiago told the crowd.
The fund has been helping families for more than a decade, raising nearly $8 million through payroll deductions and from partnerships with a variety of organizations and companies, including the Chicago Blackhawks.
“When a family goes through this unimaginable time, the brotherhood and sisterhood of firefighters is incredible to watch,” Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia said.
Even though the money helps to pay bills and to keep food on the table, those receiving the grants are still focused on trying to live one day at a time while coping with devastating loss.
“Every time my boys play a hockey game and he’s not there, it hurts,” Capuano said. “We’re just trying to keep moving ahead.”