Thank you for the opportunity to introduce you to Step Up & Give Back and to request your support for our programs and services that assist first responders including police, fire, and military members.
Step Up & Give Back is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2017 by Stephen Coyne, an officer in the 7th District of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and a bagpiper who performs at many of the opening ceremonies.
Since the first recorded police death in 1791, there have been over 20,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. A total of 1,512 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 63 hours or 151 deaths per year. In 2016, there were 143 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in and 51,548 assaults against law enforcement officers resulting in 14,453 injuries.
The officers injured or killed in the line of duty, as well as other first responders such as firefighters or military members in similar situations, deserve our support and assistance. Step Up & Give Back was established to meet critical needs of these first responders and their families.
In order to serve the growing number of first responders and their families in our area who need assistance, we are seeking the support of the community. We respectfully request any contributions from individuals and businesses to support our efforts. Your contribution will be used to meet the needs of injured first responders such as emergency travel and housing, permanent housing, handicap-accessible home modifications, handicap-equipped vehicles, educational assistance, and crisis and transition financial assistance. Please visit our recipients page to see who we’ve donated to here
Coyne’s reasons for starting the Step Up & Give Back foundation are very personal. When Coyne first started doing stair climbs, he wanted to begin a charity to help his fellow officers, but he also wanted to improve his health. After quitting drinking, Coyne was trying to focus on something healthier and more rewarding than alcohol. Coyne trained for his first stair climb indoors on a stair machine and moved on to train at Swallow Cliff, a former toboggan slide in suburban Palos Park, IL that has become a popular spot for exercise enthusiasts determined to take on the stairs left behind. Coyne became friends with many stair climbers from all over the country. Some are great athletes, including those in their 60’s and 70’s. Some have overcome serious injuries or illnesses and yet still do the stair climbs, lead healthy lives, and support various charities.
Coyne’s commitment to improve his health was challenging. He added diet changes and more cardio exercise, often calling on stair climbing friends for support. As his weight decreased, Coyne completed more stair climbs benefiting more charities. Additionally, being more active, a healthier eater, and not overweight helped him maintain his sobriety.
In September of 2014, Coyne participated in the Dallas 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. This was a 110-floor climb in full police or fire gear. He also had the honor of bagpiping the opening ceremony with the Dallas area police/fire pipe bands. It was a very emotional event where he met some of the beneficiaries of the climbs fundraising efforts.
As Coyne completed more stair climb events and saw the people who benefited from these events – such as a young girl with lymphoma, military veterans with prosthetic arms and/or legs, cancer survivors and the family members who are supporting or remembering a loved one –he became motivated do more.
Step Up & Give Back was founded in In April 2017 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization to do more to help first responders and others in need while raising awareness of the obesity crisis and promoting healthy, active lifestyles.
Stephen Coyne climbs staircases to raise awareness and funds to meet the needs of injured first responders and support individuals and families in need. Ever since Coyne’s first event in 2012 climbing the 80 floors of the Aon building in Chicago to benefit Lurie Children’s Hospital, climbing stairs for charity has become a hobby. Coyne’s son, who was 7 years old at the time, wanted to do a stair climb with his father. Together, they completed the Hustle Up the Hancock (half climb) followed by the U.S. Bank Building stair climb in Los Angeles and the Sears Tower stair climb later in that year.
During the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that a third of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older — over 100 million people — are obese. This increase is not limited to adults, but has also affected young people. Among youth, 18% of children aged 6-11 years and 21% of teens aged 12–19 years are considered obese.
These rates of obesity have substantial implications for Americans’ health. Individuals with obesity may suffer devastating and costly health problems, face reduced life expectancy, and experience stigma and discrimination. Being obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease (heart attack), stroke, some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), and more. Although one of the national health objectives for the year 2020 is to reduce the prevalence of obesity among adults by 10%, current data indicates that the situation is not improving. The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Dietary changes, increased physical activity, and behavior changes can help promote weight loss.
Coyne is an outstanding example of addressing weight management challenges by combining his efforts to improve his health with his desire to raise funds to support individuals and families in need. Step Up & Give Back promotes healthy lifestyles by sharing his story and promoting a long-term commitment to exercise and a healthy diet. Coyne’s model sends the message to everyone that it is possible to get healthy in a fun way.
Step Up & Give Back is proud to have helped 50 individuals and first responders in need since their founding April 2017.
Your contribution will be used to meet the needs of injured first responders such as emergency travel and housing, permanent housing, handicap-accessible home modifications, handicap-equipped vehicles, educational assistance, and crisis and transition financial assistance. Step Up & Give Back promotes healthy lifestyles while partnering with the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Fire Department, (CFD) American Lung Association (IL, IN, MO, NV, NC, SC,), Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Tunnel to Towers (NYC, Charlotte, Tampa, Atlanta, Houston), Peace Officer’s Memorial Foundation, and Shriner’s Hospital for Children-Chicago.
Please feel free to contact me by phone at 773-314-3718 or 773-899-5086 if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your time and your consideration of our request.
 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Law Enforcement Facts.”
 (About NIH Obesity Research, National Institutes of Health, 5/15/2017)
 (Obesity Research, 2017)
 (Staff, 2017)