West Point kicks off annual AER Campaign
March 9, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. (March 9, 2011) -- It's not so much about the numbers and figures involved, but more about spreading the word about what the Army Emergency Relief program does for Soldiers.
At least that's the message Amy Weyhrauch wants to deliver during the 2011 AER Campaign at West Point.
"I really want people to know the good that comes out of AER and the people who are helped by it," Weyhrauch, the AER Campaign manager, said. "AER asks for contributions, but you don't always get the significance of who's being helped. So my big intent for the West Point campaign is to push this message and let people know where their money is going."
In her second year as campaign manager, Weyhrauch wants to emphasize the human element behind AER; like the Army spouse who babysits neighborhood kids in the evening but goes to college by day with an AER scholarship or the captain who's vehicle expired on Storm King Mountain and needs a emergency loan for a new transmission.
"The economy has affected everyone across the board, regardless of rank or income," Weyhrauch said. "AER is not just for the lower enlisted or low income Families. AER is the only charity designed specifically to help Army Soldiers and their Families. It helps everyone for every reason."
The Army Emergency Relief program began in 1942 to assist Soldiers in resolving their financial emergencies and help them in situations where they lack funds to meet their basic living expenses.
In addition, AER provides scholarships to spouses and children of active duty and retired Soldiers.
Col. Michael Tarsa, West Point garrison commander, addressed the community Tuesday during the AER kickoff at the Army Community Service building. The goal of this year's campaign is $85,000, and he is confident that the leadership present at West Point can help make that happen.
"I'm continually impressed by the number of Families that AER assists," Tarsa said. "So I believe in AER. As I look across this line of noncommissioned officers here, it is all about leadership and expressing to our Soldiers, our officers, our NCOs and civilians that this one's special because it helps all of us."
The AER Campaign continues until May 15. In 2010, AER provided $77 million in assistance to more than 66,000 Soldiers and their Families.