By Mr. Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)May 11, 2017
The Fort Leonard Wood Army Emergency Relief Campaign has met and exceeded its goal for 2017 with more than a month left in the fundraising season.
The $125,000 goal was met May 2, prompting campaign officials to set a new goal of $175,000. The AER campaign is scheduled to conclude June 15.
Capt. Luke Grieder, installation campaign coordinator, attributes the quick success to the community working together to meet the goal. "Together, as an installation, we managed to end a three year trend of not meeting the annual campaign goal -- an achievement everyone should be proud of."
The current campaign total is more than $135,000, and AER officials hope the community can use the next month to meet the new goal.
"There are still many Soldiers and civilians on post who have not had the chance to donate," said Chuck Matthews, AER officer.
AER provides emergency financial assistance to Soldiers, retirees and Family members. AER funds can be used for things such as emergency travel, convalescent leave, mortgage or rent payment assistance, utility, food and fuel help, vehicle payment or emergency repairs, minor home repairs and more Matthews said.
In 2016, Fort Leonard Wood's AER provided $583,753 in loans and grants to 456 local Soldiers and retirees, and AER headquarters provided $145,995 in scholarships to 61 Fort Leonard Wood spouses and dependent children.
The scholarships are awarded through the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship program for dependent children and the AER Spouse Scholarship program. "In 2016, AER provided 4,245 scholarships worth $9.1 million," Matthews said. "The scholarships are awarded based on financial need and are awarded annually for up to four academic years to attend post-secondary school full time as undergraduate level students."
AER donations are tax deductible and Soldiers, retirees, civilian employees, as well as civic organizations can donate.
For more information on how to donate, call Grieder or Staff Sgt. Titi Kaisa at 573.596.0131, ext. 62600, or to request assistance, call Matthews at 573.596.0131, ext. 0212.