Submitted by USA Cares, Inc.
RADCLIFF, KY. - May 23, 2008 - USA Cares Executive Director William H. "Bill" Nelson just returned from a weeklong conference with one of the Nation’s leading coalitions involved in Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans issues in Washington DC. "One thing was abundantly clear," Nelson noted "the financial burdens on our military families are increasing at an alarming rate."
Nelson went on to add "USA Cares' current assistance requests will top $14 million dollars for the fiscal year that ends next month on June 30th. Our first four years saw an average of about $3 million in requests, and as we analyzed the numbers and trends for our next years budget, we sensed an escalation but were amazed to see a 400% increase in needs."
The financial factors driving these needs are sharp increases in the costs of living and housing. Energy costs are up by 61%, fuel oil up by 48% and food is up by 15.4% according to US Government figures published on the web. These increases also add to the rising number of foreclosures and the mortgage crisis that is in the news these days.
Non-financial concerns also exacerbate the family's situation. Finding a second job is difficult for both the Service Member and the spouse. With a Service Member either preparing to deploy or deployed, the cost of childcare either prevents the remaining spouse from that second income or minimizes its effect. Obviously the service member cannot seek a second job either.
In addition to all of this, military families are frequently isolated from other family members; a usual source of support. And finally, Americans are finding that they have less discretionary income as a result of these economic factors and are not as apt to contribute to charitable organizations in general. "This crisis will increase as we move into the coming winter, and home heating again becomes one of the quality of life initiatives we support every year." Nelson remarked.
Other funding crisis accelerators are the costs of dealing with serious although non-visible wounds such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to a recent RAND Corporation study, the societal costs associated with support to the family for these injuries are from $6,000 to $25,000 per case. RAND estimated that only 53% of these cases are actually seeking help, thus the case load has the potential to grow.
USA Cares staff contacted other organizations that offer similar assistance to military families and all report a significant increase in both the number of clients requesting assistance and the dollar value requested as well.
About USA Cares
USA Cares is a worldwide non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization serving military service members of all ranks and branches and their families with direction and advice along with grant assistance for quality of life issues caused by military service. Continuing into their sixth year of noteworthy accomplishment, USA Cares has received requests from over 10,000 Service Members and families with millions of dollars in organizational and found resources. In partnership with The Homeowners Preservation Foundation, USA Cares has also saved hundreds of military homes from foreclosure across the Nation. Funding for the organization is provided through the generous contributions of corporations, organizations and individuals. USA Cares continues to operate at a 90 percent ratio of contributed mission dollars. For more information on USA Cares contact us at email@example.com and visit www.usacares.org.
USA Cares exists to help service members and their families across America and around the globe. USA Cares provides support with relevant and direct assistance that improves challenging situations and betters the life and well-being of America's service members who ask so little, yet give so very much. Helping service members and their families with quality of life issues using grants, counseling and mentorship.
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