First Responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.
Badges United Foundation is dedicated to helping our First Responders in anyway possible. After experiencing critical incidents on a daily basis, First Responders struggle with invisible wounds. They may experience anxiety, depression, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and other common symptoms of cumulative stress. Often, the weight of their experiences makes it difficult to reach out for help, socialize with others, or even get out of the house.
Our programming is specifically focused to help First Responders build healthy habits and expand their social support.We understand the struggle and continue to find ways to positively impact our First Responders’ lives. Our programming is evolving to determine the most effective ways to have a positive impact on First Responders and their families.
Badges United offers a variety of presentations about mental health and wellness focused on our personal struggles as prior First Responders.
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Who We Are
Kim DeFiori & Thor
Co-Founder & CEO
Kim graduated from West Point as a Military Police Officer in 2008 and deployed to Afghanistan. After she redeployed, she tried to push past her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but finally realized she needed to ask for help.
Kim spent two years healing from PTSD through various methods from 1 on 1 therapy to snowboarding in Vail. She found the path to healing was through a mindfulness journey and experience.
Kim serves as the CEO with her PTSD service dog, Thor. She recently earned her MBA from Cornell University in 2020.
Co-Founder & COO
Sara is a retired Army Officer who is dedicated to helping First Responders by sharing her personal struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, her journey of healing, and promoting wellness in others.
Sara graduated from the University of South Florida in 2009 where she majored in Criminology. She went on to serve her community as a Police Officer and also served in the Army as a Military Police Officer.
She has extensive experience in a multitude of therapeutic modalities that helped on her path to healing. Sara serves as the COO of Badges United and is currently earning her Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Maryland.
Gabriela earned a Bachelor in Science in Education in Mathematics from Baylor University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Touro University International. In addition, Gabriela earned a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University. Gabi serves as the Executive Assistant for BUF.
Board of Directors
David Giroux has served for over 24 years with a Metro DC-area police agency. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Emory University and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from George Washington University.
Currently, he holds the rank of Captain and serves as the Commander of his department's Peer Support Team, working with members of his agency to assist officers managing personal and professional challenges related to mental health and wellness.
Board of Directors
Jason Goff is currently a federal law enforcement official with the Department of Homeland Security. Over his 10 year career with DHS, Jason has served in a variety of roles and assignments.
Jason has studied at the University of Rhode Island and American University, earning a degree in Political Science and International Relations. He currently resides outside of Washington D.C. with his wife and two children.
Who We Serve
Badges United Foundation serves former, current, and retired members of the below, AND their Significant Others