FORT BENNING, Ga, (March 12, 2014) -- Fort Benning Army Emergency Relief will host its annual fundraising campaign kick off 11:30 a.m. March 19 at the Benning Club.

Retired Lt. Gen. Robert Foley, director of Army Emergency Relief and a Medal of Honor recipient, will be the guest speaker to spread awareness about the nonprofit organization.

AER's mission is to resolve short-term financial need and provide the opportunity for Soldiers to help their fellow Soldiers through contributions.

Lionel Grant, Fort Benning's AER officer, said the Fort Benning community contributed $250,000 to the agency last year, while $2.3 million was provided in the form of grants and no-interest loans. Traditional assistance is provided to active-duty and retired Soldiers, dependent Family members, widows and widowers. Recent changes require that only staff sergeants and below must contact their chain of command for assistance.

"Some of the categories we assist with could range from rent, mortgage payments, car repairs, emergency leave, down payments on a vehicle and funeral expenses for dependent and non-dependent Family members," he said.

Grant said Soldiers are welcome to contribute to the campaign until May 15 through a project representative assigned to their unit. AER is not affiliated with the Combined Federal Campaign.

The primary goal of the campaign is to share the AER message with as many Soldiers as possible, he said.

"For some Soldiers, the only time they know about AER is when they come to receive financial assistance," Grant said. "It's not a mandate to contribute to AER to receive assistance. When they walk through door, we want to provide assistance to them if they have a valid need."

AER also provides scholarships for spouses of active-duty Soldiers and for dependent children of active-duty, retired and deceased Soldiers. For more information, visit www.aerhq.org.

Page last updated Tue March 11th, 2014 at 00:00