Wilbert’s Commemorating First Responders® program provides $100k donation to foundation

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – The Wilbert Group provided a $100,000 donation to the First Responders Children’s Foundation Tuesday, Aug. 17, in honor of all first responder deaths attributed to COVID-19 exposure while performing line-of-duty actions. The donation was made to an organization benefitting law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

Since its inception in 2012, Wilbert and its licensees have honored over 1,075 fallen first responders through the Commemorating First Responders® program.

“Wilbert is passionately committed to the Commemorating First Responders in support of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Terry Whitlock, senior vice president for licensee products & services. “The COVID-19 virus presented significant challenges in determining if exposure occurred while performing a line-of-duty activity or action. At the same time, the virus changed the manner and speed of funerals to the point where many occurred before a COVID-19 line-of-duty death determination could be finalized. In response to these challenges, we committed to make a significant donation to a first responder organization that would serve to honor all first responders.”

Al Kahn, founder and chairman of the First Responders Children’s Foundation, and Jillian Crane, the foundation’s president, address those gathered in recognition of The Wilbert Group’s $100,000 donation on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo courtesy The First Responders Children’s Foundation)

For all line-of -duty deaths not caused by COVID-19, the Commemorating First Responders program continues to provide a free burial vault or cremation product to the family of the fallen first responder.

“We are so very grateful for all that first responders do day-in and day-out, as well as for the Wilbert Licensees and funeral providers who support this program,” Whitlock remarked.

“Through this generous donation, Wilbert Funeral Services is providing direct relief to the families of first responders confronted with the loss of a loved one during this ongoing pandemic,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “During this time of uncertainty and loss we stand by these everyday heroes and their families and with the help of partnerships like this, we continue to partner with first responder agencies to offer some comfort and assistance during bereavement,” said Jillian Crane, President of the First Responders Children’s Foundation.

About First Responders Children’s Foundation

For 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports educational activities and programs created by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund provides financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at

Visit the Commemorating First Responders Facebook page that honors the brave men and women who left us all too soon while in service to their communities.