Operation Homefront is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit national organization dedicated to one main goal: Helping our heroes; those service members and their families who dedicate their lives every day to ensure our freedom as Americans.
And now more than ever, we are finding that our heroes need our help. This week, as this great nation observes National Volunteer Week with a theme of “Celebrating People in Action,” couldn’t be a better time to focus on providing that help.
Operation Homefront was formed in 2002 in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and the deployments to Afghanistan that soon followed.
The Pennsylvania/Delaware chapter was formed in 2006. Today, there are 24 chapters serving 27 states nationwide, all of which provide emergency financial assistance and morale programs to soldiers and their families.
Right now, Pennsylvania has the most deployed national guard of all 50 states in the country and the economy is worse than ever. We are finding there a lot of soldiers who are struggling to make the transition back to civilian life. Between 2010 and 2011, we tripled the amount of assistance we provided. The need is growing exponentially.
The target population for our services is American military personnel and/or their families who have unmet needs due to financial hardship, death, injury, or physical or mental detriment as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan. These may include active duty, Reserve, National Guard and veteran service members. Roughly 75 percent live at an income level 80 percent below the median income for the communities in which they reside.
Emergency financial assistance is the main service we provide. We provide direct services to alleviate a military family’s or individual’s emergency financial burden, as well as counseling and/or recovery support. We will send checks directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists and other providers. We also provide emergency funding assistance including financial assistance, emergency food, emergency home repairs, critical baby items (formula, food and diapers), home and appliance repair, furniture and household items, local moving assistance, community events and Wounded Warrior Transitional Family Housing.
For those who are having trouble finding employment – a common hardship for many these days – we network with other groups to help them get jobs, such as ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve), Careerlink and the Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network.
We also provide morale building programs throughout the year to help boost the morale of military families facing multiple deployments and injury recovery.
For instance, we hold nationwide collections with Dollar Tree stores to collect back-to-school supplies in July and toys in November to help ease the financial burden of the holidays for military families.
Programs like these are all possible through the support of generous individuals, community groups, civic organizations and businesses.
Because we do not receive government funds, we rely solely on corporations, individuals and foundations for funding of the services we provide. Nationally, $.94 of every dollar donated to Operation Homefront goes to programs. Our organization received the highest rating – four stars – for five straight years from Charity Navigator, the nation’s top independent evaluator of nonprofit organizations.
Support from people like you and companies like UGI Utilities is how we continue to help those who have sacrificed and dedicated themselves to preserving our freedom. Please help UGI help our heroes by following this blog, liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter. While you are there, like and follow us too – on Facebook and on Twitter.
And on behalf of our service members and their families, thank you for your support.