2020 has been a year for the books. But for many Texans along the Gulf Coast, the current pandemic crisis has been just another setback in a years-long hurricane recovery effort. Among them, low-income Veterans and military families are particularly vulnerable. We’ve teamed up with the amazing folks at the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help.
A Region in Crisis
Even before the pandemic, many were in crisis. Between red tape, resource shortages, and complex financial relief processes, hurricane recovery can be a slow and painful process. Homes damaged three years ago by Hurricane Harvey (and never properly repaired) now experience exacerbated damage, flooding again and again with every little storm. Small businesses and large hotel chains alike remain closed or operate at a minimum, while tourist towns up and down the coast take in a fraction of their pre-Harvey vacation revenue. For many, the jobs their families depended on never came back.
Throw on top of that the threat of illness, isolation, more unemployment, economic uncertainty, and mental health concerns brought on by COVID, and our Veterans are experiencing a compounded hardship with nowhere to turn. Many have lost their jobs in the restaurant and bar industries, retail, construction, and oil and gas sectors. They are struggling to afford their utilities, housing, and insurance. If they have any options at all, the decisions they are facing seem only to increase their debt.
As Endeavors’ Chief Operating Officer Chip Fulghum stated, “The COVID-19 crisis has brought an extraordinary time of need for many in our Texas communities.”
To witness the service members and their families who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms losing everything to hurricanes and pandemics… ’heartbreaking’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The good news is, Endeavors and other nonprofits are working ceaselessly to help Veterans and military families not only get back on their feet… but thrive.
Standing Up for Heroes
(Image courtesy of the Bob Woodruff Foundation)
The amazing people at the Bob Woodruff Foundation see the struggles Veterans and military families face, and they dedicate incredible energy to lifting up those who have served.
The Foundation puts its money behind organizations doing good work to help heroes and their families. Whether Veterans live with physical combat injuries or invisible wounds (1 in 5 suffer from such as PTSD or depression), the Bob Woodruff Foundation invests in programs that help them and their families even after they hang up their uniforms. They push for long-term solutions to the diverse challenges that emerge for Veterans living with lasting impacts of trauma.
In 2018, the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the State of Qatar established a $6 million, two-year partnership to support Veterans and their families who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Funding was provided by the State of Qatar through its Qatar Harvey Fund, a $30 million fund established in 2017 for the long-term recovery of southeast Texas communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Bob Woodruff Foundation is making grants to those best-in-class veteran nonprofits that can provide a direct, positive impact to Veterans in the 41 storm-impacted counties in southeast Texas.
Boots on the Ground
(Image courtesy of the Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Last month, the Foundation awarded $2.1 million to organizations supporting Veterans, caregivers, and military families impacted by Covid-19. When we heard the news that Endeavors was one of the organizations selected for the award, we were overwhelmed and grateful from the bottom of our hearts for the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Qatar Harvey Fund support in serving our Texas Veterans.
When nonprofits work together, lives can change for the better.
This award will enable Endeavors to provide emergency financial assistance to at least 150 Veteran households still recovering from Hurricane Harvey throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region through our comprehensive and individualized Veteran Supportive Services program.
We meet Texas Veterans and military families wherever they are in their recovery process. Not only do we provide vital services like emergency financial assistance to help pay for rent and utilities, but we can help clients obtain their well-deserved VA benefits and connect them with a wide range of recovery and skills programs for mental health, substance abuse, parenting, job placement, and financial counseling.
This particular award will assist households specifically impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the current COVID crisis, an intersection of need that is especially great.
Hearts Full of Thanks
Our impacts on the lives of those who serve would not be as significant without the generous support of organizations like the Bob Woodruff Foundation. In a recent press release, Endeavors President and CEO Jon Allman said, “It is an honor to have been awarded this grant by the Bob Woodruff Foundation to quickly respond to support to Veterans and their families impacted by Hurricane Harvey, and now COVID-19.” And it truly is.
We know how deeply personal this cause is for everyone at the Bob Woodruff Foundation, because it is just as personal to us, as well. We thank them for their trust, support, and dedication to our Texas Veterans and military families.
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. Endeavors provides support for Veterans and military families for over eighty counties through nine offices across Texas. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.
ABOUT THE BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s Veterans. To date, BWF has invested more than $70 million to find, fund, and shape programs that have empowered impacted veterans and service members, and their families, across the nation. For more information, please visit https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.