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Operation Homefront has announced that it will be able to fill unmet needs in specific local communities and nationwide as a result of $175,000 in special funding from Walmart. Four community grants will help meet basic needs like food assistance and rent in Seattle, WA; Fenton, MO; Charlotte, NC; and San Diego, CA, for all eligible service members.
On the national level, Operation Homefront is using the contribution to serve the families of National Guardsmen and Reservists for longer periods before and after active-duty deployments.
With deployments being altered as a result of the withdrawal from Iraq, Guardsmen and Reservists find themselves with lapses in income. When they return home to an economy where the unemployment rate among recent veterans in the country is significantly higher than civilians, many find themselves without an income for extended periods of time.
“The holidays are over, but the needs of our military families continue,” said Jim Knotts, President and CEO of Operation Home front. “The end of deployments to Iraq and quickening redeployments from Afghanistan means fewer service members are in harm’s way.
However, there are still many who are answering the call to duty. Each one of them has a family back home. Operation Home front is committed to continuing to help the families back home, even beyond the deployments to Afghanistan.”
Operation Home front, a national nonprofit with 24 local Chapters, provides emergency assistance – including food aid, rent and mortgage assistance, and help with car repairs – to active-duty service members of all branches. The organization’s policy had been that National Guard and Reservist families were eligible for aid 30 days pre-deployment, during deployment, and 90 days post-deployment.
As a result of the Walmart grant, these families are now eligible for 60 days pre-deployment, during deployment, and 120 days post-deployment. Based upon demand, Operation Homefront hopes to be able to expand the eligibility even longer.
“These citizen-soldiers and their families make the same sacrifices as our active-duty military, and also face the difficulty of transitioning in and out of service,” continued Knotts. “Walmart has been our steadfast partner in helping military families for years. Walmart’s contribution will give these families a bit more breathing room, whether they are facing a financial shortfall while a loved-one is overseas, or trying to find work in today’s difficult job market.”