Jacksonville-based CSX on Friday launched Pride in Service, a multi-million dollar initiative aimed at supporting service members, first responders, and their families.
CSX spokesman Bryan Tucker said the railroad company is partnering with five nonprofits that work on three key areas: financial assistance, community connections, and gratitude.
“It’s certainly a community that understands, perhaps more than many other communities in the United States, the sacrifices and the hardships that service members and their families endure,” he said.
Tucker would not disclose the exact amount CSX is contributing to the initiative or the amounts being given to the partner organizations.
“What’s most important is not the dollar amount,” he said. “But it’s the impact, the real tangible benefits that the program will deliver to this community that we’re looking to serve, who serve us everyday.”
Tucker said CSX is committed to service, with 3,700 - or about a fifth - of the company’s employees being veterans, active-duty military and first responders.
The effects of Pride in Service will eventually be felt across the company’s 23-state footprint.
“What’s great is that it’s all starting here in Jacksonville, but it will be exported to communities across the country,” he said.
Among the not-for-profit partners is First Responder Children's’ Foundation, an organization that supports the children of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been lost or permanently disabled.
Dawne Troupe, Executive Director of the organization, said that a lot people forget the trauma the children of first responders endure.
“If you’re a young child and you lost a parent then, now you one don’t have the income and [number] two, you have to deal with the emotional situation of your family,” she said. “And sometimes people care about what they might be doing, but they might not know exactly what’s happening with inside the child.”
The foundation provides emergency grants and college scholarships, in addition to facilitating educational activities and programs.