Have you ever wondered what there is to do on the 4th of July aside from picnics and fireworks?
Do something different this Fourth of July: Volunteer at the Peachtree Road Race with Operation Homefront
Nalley Cars will donate a new car to the lucky winner of this contest. To vote for Operation Homefront Georgia, simply click here to vote on their Facebook page. Spread the word to family and friends! But hurry – voting ends on February 25th!
Did you vote? Click “Chime In” to comment on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!
For Georgia military families, having a soldier deployed for an extended time can be a new, scary frontier. Families face everyday tasks compounded with the stress of a loved one in active duty. This is where Operation Homefront (Georgia Chapter) steps in. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Operation Homefront was formed in February 2002. It was developed to support the families of deployed service members immediately following 9/11. Operation Homefront is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, and has evolved into a major nonprofit organization. The organization currently provides services to military families across the nation with 23 chapters serving 32 states. Often these families face financial hardships including: emergency home repairs, military pay schedule issues, even transitional housing dilemmas when a soldier returns home with an injury.
The target population is American military personnel and/ or their families who have unmet needs due to financial hardship, death, injury, or physical or mental detriment as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan. These may include active duty, Reserve, National Guard and veteran service members. They are a diverse ethnic group (64 percent are minorities): approximately 20 percent are African-American; 5 percent Asian-American; 34 percent Hispanic/Latino; 5 percent Native American; and 36 percent Caucasian. The majority of our clients are the lowest-paid service members, the E-1 through E-6 enlisted ranks. Roughly 75 percent live at an income level 80 percent below the median income for the communities in which they reside.
Based in East Cobb, Operation Homefront-GA serves around 1,000 families a month in the state of Georgia. Their goal is to make military families feel comfortable and welcome in times of great stress. “Our first aim is to makes sure those bills get paid, that they (military families) don’t worry about having a roof over their head, having diapers or milk. . . if you have ever been in that situation it is terrifying,” says Kim Scoffi, Executive Director for Georgia’s Operation Homefront; “add to that the worrying about whether or not their husband is alive.”
Kim Scoffi leads a small but very dedicated team. Her Operation Homefront staff pride themselves on giving their all to their mission with 96 cents of every donation dollar going to the military families. While the needs can be physically and emotionally demanding there are times that bring a smile to the faces of the team. As Kim recalls, “There was one instance when a Florida chapter called to ask if we could house some donated wedding dresses. To my surprise, I received an urgent 7 a.m. call that a tractor-trailer had arrived holding 300 dresses for storage. After I unloaded the dresses in the pouring rain, we came up with the idea to have a mass wedding for 20 military couples that were given the wedding of their dreams.”
It is the creativity and dedication of this East Cobb team that inspire the many activities that Operation Homefront hosts including the Atlanta Braves Hometown Heroes and Falcons’ Family of the Game which recognize one special military family at each home game, as well as the various weekly activities to support local military wives.
Operation Homefront is currently sponsoring a diaper drive (that will run through the summer) and coordinating their annual backpack drive which runs through June.
Operation Homefront is located at 1220 Old Canton Road in Marietta/East Cobb. For more information on donating to or volunteering for Operation Homefront visit www. operationhomefront.net/georgia.
Written by Jinna Marbry. This article also appears in the May 2011 print edition of EAST COBBER.