EXCLUSIVE: Warren Buffett’s bodyguard establishes nonprofit to help families of fallen officers
Give Blue Hope: Curtis DeBerg’s passion project bridges benefits gap
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For the last four years, Curtis DeBerg has been personal security and driver for Warren Buffett.
They talk a lot in that short drive to work.
“It’s amazing how much ground you can cover in 5-6 minutes,” Buffett said. “And it’s a great service to Omaha that I don’t drive myself. I still have a driver’s license, but you don’t want me driving.”
DeBerg grew up in Iowa, eventually working the streets as a police officer. He knows the toll the job takes — an injury forced him into disability retirement. He was thankful to be alive, especially knowing dozens of men and women in blue don’t come home every year, killed in the line of duty.
One day, during one of those rides, Curtis told his boss about his passion.
“He goes, ‘Get it done,’” DeBerg said. “He said I’ve always believed that if you have a great idea, get it done. And I’m telling you to get it done.”
Curtis DeBerg formed the nonprofit Give Blue Hope.
“To be able to bridge that financial gap from the time a police officer is killed to the benefit package of the department,” he said. “Maybe they have groceries to buy, or pay a car payment or electricity, and they don’t have the ability right away to do that.”
Buffett comes at it a couple different ways — as a mentor to Curtis and his idea, and to give it legitimacy in a world full of noise and fundraising scams. As one of the wealthiest people in the world, Buffett is also opening his wallet — eventually matching one of the fundraising goals.
“It’s a perfectly understandable question, why don’t you fund the whole thing?” Buffett said. “Which I could — but that isn’t the same as public participation. And at 92, I’m not going to be around forever. The idea is bigger than the money.”
Give Blue Hope — a grassroots nonprofit for first responders with a key supporter.
“You’re not guaranteed to come home,” DeBerg said. “When that horrific situation happens, Give Blue Hope.”
Copyright 2023 WOWT. All rights reserved.