Our story is an example of what is best in America: compassionate and caring Americans committed to providing funding and support to ensure our military members are honored, cared for when injured . . . and never forgotten
Quantico, VA (PRWEB) January 28, 2015
The Semper Fi Fund is proud to announce a major milestone and incredible achievement: closing out its 10th anniversary year, the veteran nonprofit has now given out a total of over $100 million in assistance to wounded, critically ill and injured service members and their families. What’s more, the Semper Fi Fund has done so while maintaining an overhead of just 6%; meaning almost every cent they bring in goes directly to those who need and deserve it most.
"This milestone means the world to our team of supporters, donors, volunteers, and staff,” said Semper Fi Fund President, CEO and Founder, Karen Guenther. “It makes us extremely proud to know we have been able to go from $500 to over $100 million in assistance for those we serve - our veterans and their families. To have brought hope, joy, and comfort to over 13,000 veterans serves to inspire our team to keep this critical work expanding as the needs of our veterans change and evolve over time. Our commitment to this mission is stronger each and every day and we are deeply inspired to keep our mission relevant and at the ready for our wounded, critically ill, and injured members of all service branches.”
Semper Fi Fund began its work at the bedsides of service members, delivering immediate financial assistance to cover travel, lodging, lost wages, and other expenses to ensure that loved ones could be with them. As the service members continued their recovery, their needs changed - so the Semper Fi Fund evolved, offering new types of assistance like adaptive vehicles and homes, specialized equipment, education and career transition assistance, and PTSD and TBI support. They also created new programs like Team Semper Fi & Team America’s Fund – a recovery through sports program, the Tim and Sandy Day Canine Companions Program, and the Veterans 2 Veterans Transition Program.
In 2012 the Semper Fi Fund expanded their reach to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families with the inception of the America’s Fund program.
Over the past decade, $100 million has gone out to over 13,100 post-9/11 service members and their families, providing immediate assistance and lifelong support. Semper Fi Fund’s exemplary efforts - all while maintaining a 6% overhead - has earned them a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for five consecutive years and an A+ rating from CharityWatch, one of only three veteran nonprofits out of 52 to receive such rating.
But $100 million is more than just a number or a dollar amount: it is the story of each and every service member, family member or caregiver that Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund has touched.
One of these inspiring stories belongs to an incredible young man named Lance Corporal Ronny Porta. Ronny sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of an IED blast in May 2007, resulting in the amputation of his right arm and burns to over 65% of his upper body. The Semper Fi Fund has been by Ronny’s side every step of the way, providing grants to him and his family to meet his needs and ensure the best quality of life possible. The Fund helped bring Ronny’s family members from out of the country, relocating them to the U.S. to be by his side through a long and difficult recovery, including multiple reconstructive surgeries. To help make Ronny’s everyday life a bit easier, the Fund helped with modified vehicle grants, special home adaptations, like adding a water softener to Ronny's shower to help take pressure off of his skin, and a therapeutic bed for him to be able to sleep. Additional grants were provided for the training of a companion dog, and because Ronny's fingers are too sensitive to type, a computer with Dragon speaking software. To help Ronny start the next chapter in his life, the Semper Fi Fund helped provide funds for an adapted “smart” home for his new family, and will continue to provide a lifetime of support as needed.
Through its America’s Fund program and Team America’s Fund, Semper Fi Fund has also been there every step of the way for Master Sergeant Cedric King. Cedric lost both of his legs to an IED blast in 2012, and has triumphed over every obstacle to become a world-class triathlete. In his own words:
America’s Fund was always in the hospital. About a week after getting blown up, I woke up in Bethesda and there were the America’s Fund ladies, always there with the red shirts and the red hats. My mom and my stepfather, they needed to come up here to Walter Reed, they wanted to see me and be there for me. My mom runs a Bible bookstore back in their hometown—they make their living having their store open. Visiting me, they closed their store and have no income. America’s Fund gave them a grant to supplement their income—they made it possible to keep the family functioning so my mom could be with me. America’s Fund, they get it, they really do get it. They understand giving back from an emotional standpoint, from a community standpoint—the community of injured warriors.
“After 13 years at war, the transition for our service members and their families is far from done,” Guenther added. “We have decades of work ahead and an amazing team and faithful supporters to make sure they are never alone in their road to recovery. I believe our story is an example of what is best in America: compassionate and caring Americans committed to providing funding and support to ensure our military members are honored, cared for when injured, both from invisible or visible wounds, and never forgotten.”
About Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund
Semper Fi Fund, and its program America's Fund, provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, directing urgently needed resources to post 9/11 service members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserves. Since its inception in 2004, the Semper Fi Fund has provided more than $101 million in assistance to over 13,100 service members and their families. The Semper Fi Fund's streamlined structure keeps overhead very low, 6%; they are also one of three veteran charities to receive an "A+" rating from The American Institute of Philanthropy, and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.