SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Fisher House Foundation recently donated funds to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command to support family members of deployed Soldiers through the Blue Star Card program.

Schofield Barracks is among three Army installations to receive a Family Support Initiative donation of $50,000 to support families of deployed Soldiers. Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Stewart, Ga., also received $50,000 each.

"We are in the blessing business, and with as many deployments (that) families have experienced, each deployment becomes a little bit harder," said David Cocker, president, Fisher House Foundation. "From what I have seen, there are always two kinds of families: ones who are doing okay and ones that are having problems. We wanted to recognize the tremendous contribution that families are making by essentially paying it forward."

He continued by saying that the foundation wanted to put money to use in the military community to help solve small problems before they become big problems, and become a distraction to deployed forces.

Cocker said the foundation partnered with the Army to ask Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander, Installation Management Command, for a list of 10 installations to donate funds to. Based on the list, the foundation selected three that demonstrated the greatest need.

The Foundation placed two conditions on the donation: funds will only be used to provide support for the families of deployed Soldiers and the Army will provide a report to the foundation after the funds have been disbursed, to summarize and document the benefits derived from this initiative.

Once the allocated funds are depleted, the services will no longer be offered.

"We need feedback from our units, family readiness groups and family members in order to find out the best way to allocate the funds of this generous donation," said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. "The community is important to the decision-making process because we need to know how to better serve the families of our deployed Soldiers, so we can help make the deployment a little bit easier."

USAG-HI is asking FRGs and families of deployed Soldiers for their feedback on how they would like to see the money allocated: including,

Aca,!AcFurnishing and supplying technology and equipment for a Yellow Ribbon Room;

Aca,!AcSponsoring families to attend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University;

Aca,!AcProviding Super Saturday respite childcare day;

Aca,!AcHosting holiday field trips for teenagers in December;

Aca,!AcFunding camp scholarships for Army sponsored or Child, Youth and School Services approved external camps;

Aca,!AcSupplying free movie passes for children;

Aca,!AcObtaining free or discounted concert tickets;

Aca,!AcFacilitating discounted tickets from Information, Ticketing and Registration; and

Aca,!AcReducing sports fees.

USAG-HI strives to offer and maintain programs and services to encourage resiliency and improve on the quality of life for Soldiers and family members.

The Fisher House program is a private-public partnership that supports America's military service members and families in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of the men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service, and meets their humanitarian needs beyond those normally provided by the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, the Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military installations and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury. A-"A?

Send feedback on fund allocation to Sarah Chadwick, Blue Star Card program coordinator, at <a href="mailto:sarah.chadwick@us.army.mil">sarah.chadwick@us.army.mil</a>, by Sept. 20.

Page last updated Mon September 20th, 2010 at 16:08