The donations are part of Walmart's bigger initiative "Welcome Home Commitment" in which they pledged to give $20 million through 2015 to help veterans and their families with successful transitions to a civilan lives through job training, transition support, and education.
Because of this donation, Operation Homefront will be able to more than double its reach for two of its main holiday programs:
- The Holiday Toy Drive where more than 25,000 toys can be purchased for military children, and
- The Holiday Meals for Military which will provide more than 17,000 meals to military families.
Walmart will also be flying more than 500 service members home to celebrate the holidays with family.
The donation to Fisher House will provide a grant for 50,000 nights of free lodging for families so they can be close to a loved one who is hospitalized. The Fisher House Program are several houses located near major military and VA medical centers. The houses allow family members to be near a loved one during hospitalization for combat injury, illness, or disease. Walmart's donation is half the cost to make Fisher House free for all families in 2014.
Deployments and separations are undoubtedly hard on military families; especially with multiple deployments and over the holidays. Programs such as Fisher House and Operation Homefront are vital to helping military families.
My family has experienced two deployments that each happened over the holidays. Joe was gone in 2007 and again in 2009. Fortunately we didn't experience any major hardships during either of the deployments (just missed the fact that Joe wasn't there to share the holidays with us!), but it was nice to know there are organizations that could have helped if we needed it for anything.
If you're looking for ways to help military families please consider these organizations and Join in our Holiday Salute to Military Families.