They took care of us.
They protected our families.

And so we took care of theirs.

The Brave of Heart Fund was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of the frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19.

Brave of Heart Scholarship Fund

The Brave of Heart Fund Story

The Brave of Heart Fund represents a disaster relief response rooted in cooperation, innovation, hope, and resilience. At its core, it honors the heroism and sacrifice of the frontline healthcare workers whose lives were lost to COVID-19 by providing charitable grants to their families. It also embodies the forward thinking of executives to fill a much-needed gap in the COVID-19 battle.

Brave of Heart was created by a life insurance leader, a health services leader, and a disaster and hardship relief organization. The early foresight to recognize the impact the pandemic would have on healthcare workers, and then the fastidious commitment to creating a generous and deliberate response, was remarkable to witness. The teams at New York Life, Cigna and E4E Relief worked relentlessly to build the legal and program framework, fundraise, and execute a multi-channel outreach strategy to reach as many surviving families as possible of healthcare workers who passed away in the battle against COVID-19.

Each founding organization brought its strengths to bear. E4E Relief managed the fund, operating the grantmaking process with expertly and compassionately trained grant specialists. Grantees and their families received grief support and bereavement resources from Cigna and New York Life. Each organization launched social media, press and network campaigns to create awareness and raise support for the fund. This tri-partner alliance's efforts were boosted by contributions from Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, IBM, Accenture, and Cognizant along with over 2,000 other gifts from corporate and family foundations as well as individuals.

Ultimately, over $31.5 million was awarded in financial grants to families, covering critical immediate and longer-term needs, providing extremely meaningful financial and psychological benefits for hundreds of families across the country. The work of the Brave of Heart Fund continues via scholarship funding for children, spouses and dependents of frontline healthcare workers lost to COVID-19, and through partnerships with nonprofit organizations aligned with the fund's core purposes.

Click here for the full Brave of Heart Impact Summary.

Brave of Heart Scholarship

Brave of Heart Scholarship

The Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020 by the foundations of Cigna and New York Life and administered by E4E Relief. It was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19.

Now, the Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.

Up to $25,000.00 annually is available in scholarship funding, depending on an eligible applicant's academic focus, student status, and other criteria. Scholarships are available for accredited studies at the undergraduate or graduate levels, for community college, and vocational and technical coursework and programs. Non-traditional students and individuals enrolled in part-time coursework may also apply.

Brave of Heart Scholarship application cycles are scheduled to open in February and August of each year. Interested applicants should visit Scholarship America to register and receive updates and alerts about application cycles.

This program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance, and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Please direct inquiries to Scholarship America's toll-free customer service number (1-800-537-4180) or

Resources for Families

Resources for Families

The Brave of Heart Fund has partnered with a number of organizations that offer grief, bereavement and resiliency support for children and families. As expertise, compassion and readiness are at the core of E4E Relief's business, we have assembled an inventory of resources for those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 and for those supporting them.

Bereavement support materials for children and families from New York Life Foundation

Comfort Zone Camp - Comfort Zone Camp offers a camp for children who experienced COVID-19- related loss. All programs are offered at no cost to families. CZC provides a safe, nurturing environment where kids can have traditional camp fun while acquiring tools to help them cope with their loss. CZC is also offering "Comfort Zone at Home," virtual group programming for children with optional opportunities for parents/guardians.

Dougy Center - Dougy Center's website offers activities to help kids ages 0-12 express their grief; videos, podcasts and more for people ages 13-18 who are coping before and after a death; as well as information on death and bereavement for young adults and supporters of those who are grieving.

Eluna - Eluna's Camp Erin is for children and teens ages 6-17. It is a transformational weekend camp that combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, free of charge for all families. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone.

Lucine Center for Trauma & Grief - The Lucine Center offers free downloadable resources designed primarily for parents, caregivers, or concerned adults who are dedicated to supporting bereaved youth. For those in Louisiana and Texas, the Lucine Center offers free trauma & grief teletherapy to children and adolescents.

Mental Health America - MHA provides a resource portal for Frontline COVID-19 Workers that includes a mental health conditions screener.

National Alliance for Children's Grief- For those seeking grief support services and/or counseling, NACG's Find Support directory offers a listing of bereavement camps, as well as grief support service providers by state.

National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI's website provides a list of warning signs for knowing when frontline healthcare professionals need to reach out for support. The site also includes confidential and professional resources for that support.

Nationwide network of call centers staffed by trained counselors to assist in times of acute distress and to direct toward appropriate local treatment providers

Our Supporters

We are grateful to all our donors who joined us to ensure that through the Brave of Heart Fund we were able to offer charitable financial support to survivor families in need. A very special thanks goes to those who joined the foundations of Cigna and New York Life with their early gifts, allowing the Fund to launch in such an expeditious, meaningful way.

Heroes ($2.5M+)

Responders ($500K - $2.49M)

For a complete donor listing, please review the Brave of Heart Impact Report.

We also owe immense appreciation to five individuals who gave time, energy and passion through their service on the Brave of Heart Advisory Committee:

Jewell Hoover, Hoover & Associates
Maura Monaghan, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Fritz Nauck, McKinsey & Company
Kevin Roche, E4E Relief Board of Managers, Chair
Rick Stevens, Christian Hospital and Northwest Healthcare

Questions about the Brave of Heart Fund? Contact