Today, Semper Fi & America’s Fund reported a significant one-year spike in the number of grants given to assist service members and their families, as well as the amount associated with those grants and the number of service members seeking assistance.
“The numbers are a sobering reminder of how an unprecedented health crisis has and continues to impact all Americans in unimaginable ways, especially service members and their families already dealing with pre-pandemic challenges,” said Karen Guenther, Semper Fi & America’s Fund President and CEO.
Despite 2020 reductions for event and travel grants, a significant increase in individual grants resulted in The Fund seeing an overall 20% increase over the past year of service members, veterans and their families assisted – increasing to nearly 8,000 receiving grants this year. From the start of the year through December 15, 2020, the dollar amount of individual grants issued by the Fund jumped by 59%, the number of service members receiving assistance increased by 73% and the number of grants increased 122% compared with the same period last year. Grants designated specifically to provide support to families with a critically ill child more than doubled, from $172,000 in 2019 to $416,000 this year.
“We are truly grateful for the continued support of all of our major corporate and foundation partners and donors around the world, including the overwhelming generosity of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. It is this generosity that enables us to provide programs that are so vital to the financial, emotional and physical well-being of those we serve every day, especially during these pressing times.”
During the COVID-19 crisis, The Fund has been meeting the immediate, life-essential needs of veterans and their families in the following ways:
* Financial support to acquire food and supplies for immediate needs during short-term potential shortages
* Immediate financial assistance for daily expenses for service members and/or spouses who are facing unemployment and need immediate relief.
* Financial assistance due to lost income to cover phone bills, rent, mortgage payments and car payments
* Gas cards to enable family members to provide support, including childcare, physical support for those severely injured, and general family support.
* Food and financial assistance for cancer patients and elderly Vietnam veterans who are at higher risk
Through December 22, 2020, The Fund has provided COVID-specific assistance to 4,493 Service Members, Veterans and Families amounting to more than $4.3 million in direct financial support.
For the 9th straight year, The Fund’s Double Down for Veterans Match Campaign is underway and continues through December 31, 2020. The challenge, issued by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, is an effort to raise $20 million. All donations made through December 31st will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10 million by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.