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E4E Relief Helps Launch National ‘Brave of Heart’ Fund for Surviving Families of Fallen Healthcare Workers Who Lose their Lives in the Fight Against COVID-19

New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation Launch Fund to Raise More than $100 Million to Help Cover Funeral Costs and Ongoing Support for Housing, Food, Utilities, Medical and Educational Expenses

Published 04-21-20

Submitted by E4E Relief

Today, E4E Relief, the nation’s leading provider of charitable employee relief funds, has announced its largest fund to date in a partnership with New York Life and Cigna. The Brave of Heart Fund, which is launching with $25 million donations each from New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation, will provide charitable grants for surviving families of healthcare workers who lose their lives while caring for others during COVID-19 pandemic.

Donations are also being accepted at, with the New York Life Foundation matching gifts from individuals, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25 million. Cigna will also provide beneficiaries with behavioral and emotional health support to help them navigate issues associated with grief. The Fund will be administered by E4E Relief, which manages employee relief funds for companies representing over 4 million people worldwide. E4E Relief is a wholly owned subsidiary of Foundation For The Carolinas, a Charlotte-based community foundation and public charity.

“When tragedy strikes, large or small, people want to help. The Brave of Heart Fund is an overwhelming example of this, with New York Life and Cigna rising to the occasion to support fallen healthcare workers,” said E4E Relief CEO Holly Welch Stubbing. “In addition to this vital effort, E4E Relief provides employers of all sizes the ability to support employees impacted by the pandemic and other catastrophic disasters.”

Families of fallen healthcare workers who need help bearing the burden of the economic impact of losing their loved ones to COVID-19 – loss of income, funeral expenses or medical bills – are encouraged to apply for grants at beginning in May.

“In tough times, true heroes are revealed. The heroes today are not only the courageous and selfless frontline healthcare workers and volunteers who, without hesitation and without question, have put themselves in harm’s way to help those who desperately need it, but also their families who are living with the anxiety and fear of what may happen to their loved ones in the days ahead,” said Ted Mathas, Chairman and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company.  “The Brave of Heart Fund is our way to honor these heroes by doing what New York Life and Cigna do best – supporting these individuals and their families with financial and emotional support and being there when we are needed most.”

“As we’ve seen in the past, trying times bring out the best in us, as individuals and communities. Our nation’s healthcare workers and volunteers are embodying this every day, as they answer the call of duty with bravery and selflessness,” said David M. Cordani, Cigna President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to partner with New York Life to support the families of these American heroes who give so much while treating others. Through the Brave of Heart Fund, we will bring greater peace of mind to these families, by helping to relieve the emotional and financial burdens they will face in the aftermath of this health crisis.”

Founded in response to 9/11, E4E Relief has nearly 20 years of experience in helping compassionate companies respond to large and small crises, such as natural disasters and personal hardships, allowing employers to quickly care for their most important resources – their people. Now facing a global pandemic, E4E Relief has been called on to partner with two visionary companies to provide relief to families who have lost so much to COVID-19. E4E Relief anticipates awarding more than $125 million in charitable grants on behalf of its clients throughout the nation to help workers affected by the pandemic.

Employee Relief Funds are not only good for people – they are good for business. According to research by E4E Relief, 76 percent of their past grant recipients reported that assistance during a crisis helped them avoid at least one negative event, like an eviction or foreclosure, shut-off of services, or late fees. Additionally, 95 percent of employees state that the availability of the relief grant program makes them feel better about working for their employer—proving that compassion in a crisis can help with long-term employee retention and engagement.

E4E Relief Employee Relief Funds are easy to establish and provide an equitable and sustainable way for companies support employees in need and promote employee engagement. E4E Relief is proud to partner with corporations around the globe including, Wells Fargo, SalesForce, Five Guys and more. For more information on E4E Employee Relief Funds, visit

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About E4E Relief                              

For 20 years, E4E Relief has been the leading provider of charitable employee relief funds, rapidly responding to employee disaster and hardships on behalf of corporations. As an independent third-party public charity, we empower global companies and employees to provide, and receive, meaningful financial relief when it’s needed most, creating a strong sense of engagement and community. Our roots as a subsidiary of Foundation For The Carolinas, one of the largest community foundations in the U.S., led us to best practice grantmaking and industry expertise. In the past five years, E4E Relief has received more than $200 million in donations and awarded more than $90 million in charitable grants, supporting relief efforts for 4 million people worldwide. 

About Foundation For The Carolinas

Founded in 1958, Foundation For The Carolinas is the sixth-largest nonprofit community foundation in the country, serving donors and a broad range of charitable purposes in North and South Carolina. With assets of $2.6 billion, FFTC’s mission is to inspire philanthropy and empower individuals to create a better community. Visit

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