FORT KNOX, Ky. – Time is running short to participate in the 2021 Army Emergency Relief campaign.
Post leaders have set this year’s goal at $139,000 to be reached when the AER campaign ends May 15, said Maj. Tony Ibrahim, campaign manager at U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
So far, only $2,448 has been raised.
“The current active duty participation rate is less than 1%,” said Ibrahim. “This rate is down compared to previous years at this same time.”
Ibrahim explained the program strives to help Soldiers and their Families whenever needed, but campaign managers’ efforts are focused on getting the word out.
“The annual AER campaign’s intent is to bring awareness of what AER has to offer Soldiers and their Families,” said Ibrahim. “[The program] is part of mission readiness and prevents Soldiers from taking on additional financial hardship.”
Fort Knox leaders like Ibrahim have been working to convey the importance of the program for those who require it.
AER relies on donations from within the military community in order to provide aid to those in need. It’s this reason the program is referred to as “Soldiers helping Soldiers.”
Ibrahim said AER has over 30 categories of assistance available in the form of no-interest loans, grants or a combination of both. The year 2020 proved to be a key time for Local military personnel to receive a large amount of help from the program.
“Fort Knox provided 162 Soldiers/Families with $306,552 worth of assistance last year,” said Ibrahim.
In addition to financial assistance, Ibrahim said the AER program also provides education grants and scholarships.
“Last academic year, 131 Fort Knox Spouses/ Children received $567,026 in grant funds towards undergraduate degrees,” said Ibrahim.
Other categories of assistance AER offers include emergency travel, funeral expenses, vehicle costs, child car seats, COVID childcare and many more.
Soldiers can contribute to AER through their unit project officer or representative in the form of cash, check or allotment. Donations can also be made online
by anyone wishing to help at the AER website www.armyemergencyrelief.org/donate.
The AER program has been in operation for nearly 80 years, donating more than $2 billion to military Families.