Out here in Las Vegas amidst the glamor, glitter and luxury, it is easy to lose sight of what the organization who organizes this event does for our military families on a daily basis. This is like a shining star but represents only one point in a constellation of incredible things the Armed Forces Foundation does to support our men and women in uniform.
Note I said “military families” above. That’s what’s truly notable about the AFF. It is focused on the whole - the entire family. And as the title denotes, they go about their business much like our special operators – quietly and professionally.
Patricia Driscoll is the President and Executive Director of the Foundation. She took the helm when the Foundation was relatively small in 2003 and under her leadership, annual revenues have increased from $100,000 to $8,000,000 annually. 94% of all donations go directly to their charitable work.
As you might imagine, soon after Ms. Driscoll became President of the AFF demand for their services increased tremendously with the war in Iraq. Suddenly there was an influx of wounded and the needs that generated for families. The military was unprepared for that. And that’s when the AFF stepped in. Flying families in to be with their wounded soldier, paying the hotel bills, feeding them and ensuring their needs were provided for. At one point, Ms. Driscoll said, the AFF was paying $35,000 a month just in hotel bills.
Think about that. What takes place outside the media spotlight on a daily basis is military families dealing with the impact of a loved one who has been wounded and/or incapacitated. What AFF has dedicated itself too is trying to lessen that impact and enable the families to be together to deal with their wounded loved one without the financial stress that imposes. Family financial assistance, for instance, concentrates in critical areas that help a family cope with the trauma of a wounded spouse and the expenses that incurs. It helps take some of the stress off of the family while they deal with the new reality with which they’re faced:
Family Financial Assistance
The Armed Forces Foundation helps families cover such expenses as:
- Utility bills
- Rent or mortgage payments (for civilian housing)
- Car payments
- Childcare during illness, surgery or recovery
- Car insurance or registration payments
The Foundation gets up to 500 legitimate requests a month to help out. But the reality is they don’t always have the funds to answer each one. Even as the staff is out here providing this incredible experience for our wounded warriors they’re processing requests and writing checks to cover the expenses of military families in need.
What I’m pointing out just scratches the surface of what this fine foundation does. I encourage you to go to their website and take the time to learn about the programs they sponsor. PTS/TBD outreach and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs for instance.
While this event in Las Vegas is stellar, it is the year-round help they provide the families of our wounded warriors that makes the real difference. They are indeed quiet professionals. I encourage you to take a look at the information on their website, watch the videos, grow familiar with this fine organization. And, if you feel moved to donate, good on ya. But there are other ways to help as well – if you’d like to get involved and volunteer I think you’d find them very receptive.
A great foundation doing wonderful work which deserves the military community’s support.