TSA IT specialist gives back to community, earns distinguished Honorary Award
First responders falling on hard times in northern Virginia are getting a big boost, thanks to the leadership of a TSA IT specialist.
When Ed Williams is off-duty, he’s busy helping emergency responders and their families in need in his community, where for the last 12 years he has served as the president and CEO of the Loudoun First Responders Foundation.
For his extensive and successful community work, Williams earned the highly distinguished Public Service Award during the 2021 Honorary Awards Ceremony this month.
Williams is a 19-year TSA veteran and is currently a supervisor in IT.
“It is very humbling to have my personal endeavors be recognized by TSA,” said Williams. “It is an honor to receive the TSA Public Service Award and be placed in such distinguished ranks as past recipients, all of whom have made important contributions outside of work.”
As the head of the community foundation, Williams plays a direct role in financially supporting active Loudoun County first responders struggling due to illness, injury and conditions in the line of duty. Under his leadership, the foundation has provided over $320,000 in direct support and scholarships since 2015.
“First responders are the most deserving people in our country, as they without hesitation put other families first ALWAYS,” Williams proclaimed. “Our foundation fills the gap of immediate need. We can provide real support within 24 hours of receiving an application [for assistance]. To provide support of $320,000, we first have to have those funds available. Loudoun County businesses, both large and small, as well as private donations make it so we can have the financial resources to support first responder needs.”
Williams’ efforts are so successful that corporate and town leaders from neighboring Prince William County asked him to guide them in creating a similar foundation in their community.
“The Loudoun First Responders Foundation has become a model for what can be done within a county to support local heroes in their time of need,” said Williams. “Over several months, I met with key leaders in Prince William County to help them understand what was involved in setting up a 501(c)(3). I met with attorneys and interviewed several potential candidates to fill the officer roles for what would be their new board of directors. I continue to provide advice as their new foundation gains traction.”
Williams attributes his motivation to help others to his parents who raised him to always give back and credits his success to networking and relationships.
“I find it very rewarding to help first responders who often run toward what most of us would run away from,” he noted. “Creating networks fosters a trade of ideas to sustain long-term relationships and mutual trust. I found that having a relationship with someone gives them a context of who you are and, in most cases, provides them a reason to want to help you.”
For his dedication to service in his community, Williams was selected as a 2021 Loudoun 100 honoree. The Loudoun 100 recognizes the positive impact of the county’s designated top 100 people for their goodwill, charity and generosity to better the community and enrich local lives.
“Volunteers strengthen communities,” emphasized Williams. “When we volunteer, we are not only filling a need, but we are bringing awareness to problems others may be overlooking and even teaching our children the importance of giving back. Beyond helping first responders in Loudoun County, I have gained real friendships throughout my years of service and hope I have passed along the value of a giving spirit to my son.”
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs
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Give Choose is a 24-hour day of giving organized by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties to benefit local charities serving the community. The goal of Give Choose is to inspire the community to come together and give to charities that make our community thrive.
Loudoun First Responders Foundation Reaches Over $250,000 of Direct Financial Support to Public Safety Personnel
Loudoun First Responders Foundation provides direct support and scholarship funds to public safety personnel and their families in Loudoun County, Virginia.
ALDIE, VA – March 3, 2021 – The Loudoun First Responders Foundation (LFRF), an all-volunteer organization supporting local first responders, is pleased to announce that we have reached the milestone of providing over $250,000 in direct support and scholarships since 2016. Direct support is provided by the foundation to public safety personnel and their families when needs arise from injury, illness, or conditions resulting in financial hardships.
“This is a huge milestone for the foundation. We have grown significantly in the last five years which has allowed us to extend our support to the members of all public safety agencies in Loudoun County. LFRF now provides financial assistance to members of the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Loudoun County Animal Services, and each of the Town Police Departments Prior to 2016, our total direct support was $4,000 total, and now we have reached a quarter million dollars in direct support and scholarships” said Ed Williams, President of LFRF, which was founded in 2008. “Through our corporate partnerships and generous donations from individuals, we are able to do more for those who put their lives on the line for us every day.”
Within 24-hours of receiving an application for direct support, the LFRF executive board or board of directors can approve the amount to meet the need. The money is often used for regular expenses such as rent or mortgages, groceries, insurance copays and medical bills. Disability payments often do not start until after the need begins following an accident, illness or injury and the foundation bridges that gap. Beyond filling in before disability coverage begins, we have assisted first responder’s families when a spouse or child is sick, or they experience a death in the family.
Post-Secondary Education Scholarships are given annually to eligible children of First Responders and volunteer First Responder students. In 2020 alone, 20 Loudoun County Seniors received financial assistance from the Loudoun First Responders Foundation to further their education.
LFRF serves Loudoun County by providing the community an opportunity to support local heroes through private donations and innovative partnerships with organizations and our corporate neighbors. LFRF receives no Government or County funds and is 100% dependent on donations from the community to ensure that they can always be there to answer the needs of the first responders. To get additional information about the Loudoun First Responders Foundation and how to donate, visit LoudounFRF.org or contact President Ed Williams at [email protected].
The mission of Loudoun First Responders Foundation (LFRF) is to financially support active Loudoun County first responder personnel facing needs arising from; injury, illness and conditions in the line of duty, and/or loss of active duty approved under the county’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or bereavement policy.