Whether you have been with us on our journey for a while or are new to discover us, we’d like to share a bit of what we do, how we made a difference in 2015, and what we look forward to in 2016:
1. We help make dreams come true
In 2015, Operation Homefront awarded 95 mortgage-free homes to veteran families through our Homes on the Homefront program. On average, Operation Homefront awards between 80-100 homes each year thanks to the support of our partners. As those families complete a two-year program, they earn the deed to their home – 102 families completed that process last year. We are excited to be awarding our 500th home this month.
2. We’re here to help military families get through tough times.
Last year, we provided more than $4.2 million in emergency assistance grants to more than 2,300 families who hit a bump in the road and needed help with rent or mortgage payments, major home or car repairs, utility bills or buying food for their families.
We know that the holidays can be tough for our military families. In 2015, more than 10,420 children received toys at Holiday Toy Drive events, and 11,000 families received meals through various programs throughout the year, including our Holiday Meals for Military events.
3. We help families cope with the visible and invisible wounds of war.
Our Hearts of Valor program, which provides support to caregivers of wounded veterans, has grown to more than 2,600 participants, giving them vital connections to others who understand their unique challenges.
Transition from service continues to be a significant challenge for our post 9/11 veterans. More than 80 percent of the families assisted through our emergency assistance program were those with a wounded service member.
In 2015, Operation Homefront placed 111 families in one of our rent-free, transitional Operation Homefront Villages, providing critical security and time for our veterans to heal and focus on their futures.
The start of a New Year brings with it the start of the Military Child of the Year Award season. We just announced this year’s semifinalists for the 2016 Military Child of the Year Award and in April, we will spotlight these incredible military children for the 8th year in a row at our gala in DC. In addition, this year, we are being joined by Booz Allen Hamilton who will award the inaugural Innovation Award to a military child.
One of our favorite times of the year is our annual Back-To-School Brigade campaign in the summer. In 2015, we provided more than 31,000 military kids with backpacks filled with school supplies.
5. We honor the role of the military spouse.
We were honored to help welcome new bundles of joy for over 1,000 military moms in 2015 at our Star-Spangled Babies baby showers. More than 600 spouses enjoyed nights of relaxation and fun at our Homefront Celebrations, including those in Tacoma, WA. This year, Homefront Celebrations and our amazing baby showers will return for another year of honoring those who hold down the homefront.
Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and Washington, DC, Operation Homefront serves every state from 17 locations across the country supported by 2,500 + volunteers.
We know there is still more work to be done. Every day, across America, Operation Homefront employees, volunteers and supporters are making great strides to help those that give so much for our nation. Our troops and their families are counting on us and it makes us very happy to know we’ll be there for them.
Your commitment will be crucial, especially with the ever-changing landscape of global threats and budget battles that impact our military and veteran families on a very deep level.
Here’s to building on the many successes we enjoyed in 2015 and continuing our journey in 2016.