Change Happens

Fire2Miguel is a volunteer firefighter in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He began his career with nothing but desire to provide lifesaving opportunities in his community.  When he arrived at the first fire he was assigned to, he had nothing but the clothes he was wearing – a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of flip flops. Miguel’s story plays out in developing countries all around the world.

Safety gear is not readily available and is cost prohibitive for struggling fire departments; especially the rural departments that are typically staffed with a volunteer crew. In addition to fighting fires, crews routinely provide pre-hospital medical care similar to paramedics and emergency medical technicians in the United States. Often these crews raise funds “fill the boot” style out on the street so they can buy bandaging and other basic medical supplies necessary when emergency medical treatment is required. In many remote areas of these under-developed countries, eighty percent of the calls firefighters respond to are for complications of childbirth. Training, equipment and supplies are literally the difference between life and death in many cases.

Poverty in a developing country often has wide income disparities. Violent crime is a serious concern due to endemic poverty, an abundance of weapons, a legacy of societal violence, and weak law enforcement and judicial systems. Providing safety equipment and training to first responders is critical in keeping them safe and able to respond to fire and medical emergencies. The primitive infrastructure in these areas makes them extremely vulnerable to devastating results in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. Training of first responders and access to functional equipment is key to saving lives and rebuilding communities.

The mission of the BRAVE Foundation is to provide the luxury of technical training and functional equipment for first responders around the globe.

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THE POWER OF ONE

The BRAVE Foundation began with one person on one vacation in one country who planted one seed that grew in to one organization that ultimately has changed thousands of lives and dramatically reduced pain and suffering for an under-served population.

Over the last 15 years, the BRAVE Foundation has been blessed with many individuals who have cast one pebble into the water causing a ripple effect of positive change.  In 2012, we had dozens of volunteers, working individually and together, who donated nearly 4,000 hours to support our work; a perfect example of the Power of One banding together for significant global impact.  To say we couldn’t do it without our talented volunteers is an understatement!  Would you like to join our band?  Here are some ways you can help:

  • Learn more about us at www.bravefoundation.org
  • Hook us up with your church, Rotary group, or other civic organization to share our work with your group
  • Join our Facebook page and invite your friends to also “like” us     https://www.facebook.com/BRAVE-Foundation
  • Support our projects financially.  DONATE HERE
  • Collect new and surplus equipment, supplies and apparatus from your local department and/or clinics and hospitals
  • Purchase BRAVE Foundation merchandise through our website  PURCHASE HERE

“I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

Would you like to speak with a member of the Board of Directors for more information or to share an idea?  Please call 360-704-8450 or contact us through our website at www.bravefoundation.org.

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4000 Hours = GREAT Things!

Our dedicated volunteers donated nearly 4,000 hours to supporting BRAVE Foundation activities in 2012 – things like presentations, collecting surplus equipment/supplies, planning sessions, events, conferences, and training in Guatemala. If we multiply that using an estimated hourly value of $20 for volunteer service, that’s $80,000! If we multiply instructor hours using the going wage for our medical and firefighter teams, that number goes up significantly. To say we couldn’t do it without our talented volunteers is an understatement!! Interested in giving back in 2013? Join our team at www.bravefoundation.org.

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7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Guatemala

Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Guatemala today. Yet another disaster struck this morning as a 7.4 earthquake shook the region from Mexico City to El Salvador; the strongest quake to hit Guatemala since 1976 when a 7.5-magnitude quake killed 23,000 people.  Thankfully, the devastation isn’t quite as severe as in 1976, but the death toll so far is 48 and counting.  Major news agencies report that some are still missing, about 125,000 remain without power and strong aftershocks continue.  With building rubble, mudslides and washed out roads, the first responders have their hands full trying to reach those in need of medical attention and rescue.  As always, funds are extremely limited, yet they have a heart to do whatever it takes to help their community rebound from what seems to be a continual cycle of disaster. The BRAVE Foundation is committed to assisting the bomberos and will be providing funding for these efforts.  We also have team members on the ground in Guatemala assisting wherever they can. If you are able to make a donation, big or small, to help our fellow firefighters, Click Here to make a gift in support of the impoverished Guatemalan community.

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HELP! WE’RE STRANDED ON THE ROAD TO GUATEMALA!

Our convoy is stranded in L.A. and they need our help FAST! They are unable to continue the trip to Guatemala until new tires can be put on the engine. So, until the money is raised, the engine filled with 1000’s of dollars in much needed supplies will remain in L.A. unless we raise $2800 for new tires in a BIG, FAT HURRY!

Visit www.bravefoundation.org today to see how you can make a difference in the lives of the under-served populations of Guatemala.  Your support is so valuable to the well-being of the Guatemalan community!

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TUM Conference in Rio Dulce Guatemala

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Summary video of the April BRAVE Foundation trip to Guatemala

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Interview with FF Juan Carlos Montenegro of Guatemala

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Interview with FF Rita Rabre of Guatemala

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Agua Caliente trip for team

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