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About GSF


Founded 1997, The Gold Shield Foundation of Metro Atlanta is a 501 (3) (c), non-profit organization.
We are concerned citizens, dedicated to providing assistance to families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty.


On October 12, 1997, Atlanta police officer John R. Sowa was killed in the line of duty. At that time a small number of individuals pulled together to aid the Sowa family, and from that act, the Gold Shield Foundation was formed.

Originally established for the purpose of assisting the surviving spouses and dependent children of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty, the Foundation’s mission has broadly grown as we have diligently listened to the needs from within the fire and police communities in which we serve.

Today, the Gold Shield Foundation works tirelessly to provide aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters, their spouses and their children, whose lives have been altered as a result of line of duty deaths and injuries.


As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the foundation relies on the generosity of foundations,  corporations, community individuals and income generated through special events to fulfill its mission.

Donations are essential to our continued work, as is the dedication of volunteers who are willing to work with us on committees, fundraising and service outreach.

Both individuals with special talents that can help our families on a pro bono basis, and individuals that can aid us with in-kind services are also essential to our success.

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Gold_Shield_Foundation.orgWHAT WE DO

Gold Shield provides early financial assistance not available from other sources; acts as receiving agency to accept donations from others immediately following such a tragedy; and provides personal and emotional support, assistance and advocacy to help meet, on an on-going basis, the needs of the victims.

Past experience indicates that immediately following a line-of-duty death or serious injury of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, there is a great outpouring of sympathy and assistance from the community. Often the victim and family are soon left to cope alone with numerous emotional and financial problems.

Many firefighters and law enforcement officers find it necessary to supplement their income by working additional jobs. Insurance and other government benefits only partially fill the financial void when misfortune eliminates this additional income. Helping to satisfy existing or transitional financial obligations is basic to making the necessary adjustments for the family.

The Gold Shield Foundation undertakes to help these families put their lives back together as best they can. The Gold Shield Foundation also serves to raise awareness in the community about the needs of such families.

The financial assistance given by the Foundation is derived from annual contributions by the members, as well as other donations, special events and charitable bequests. Working in partnership with local community organizations, corporations and the citizens of metro Atlanta, the Gold Shield Foundation responds immediately to the needs in the following ways:

•  We provide early financial assistance not available from other sources;

•  We act as receiving agency to accept donations following such a tragedy;

•  We provide assistance with emotional, medical, fiscal issues;

•  We assist with college education or vocational training for spouse and children.

The Gold Shield Foundation of Metro Atlanta also serves to raise awareness in our community to the needs of such individuals and families.

The Foundation and its policies are governed by a service driven Board of Directors, whose individual and professional affiliations stretch a diverse canvas. Together, this group administers all of the Foundation’s services and financial aid, and therefore all final decisions rest in their hands.

It is the goal of the Foundation to work with government agencies and supporting groups such as The Atlanta 300 Club, the Metropolitan Atlanta Police Emerald Society and the Fire Emerald Society of Metro Atlanta, to do everything possible to support the surviving families. The Gold Shield Foundation has on-going relationships with people, organizations and institutions that can help. Among these are banks, lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, experts in psychology and universities.

Gold Shield Contribution & Service Center

Gold Shield Foundation of Metro Atlanta Gold Shield Foundation Service & Support is available Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (Eastern Time). We provide fast replies online, usually within an hour, even after-hours and on weekends. Your information is considered confidential and will not be shared with others.

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