Throughout the country, families are coming together for the holidays to celebrate and give thanks for what they have. However, while most people view this time of year with pure adulation, there is a sad reality that too many of our nation’s military veterans, the men and women who fought to ensure that we can enjoy our holidays, lack the means to provide their families with gifts or a holiday meal.
With this thought in mind, the New Brunswick-based GI Go Fund lent a helping hand to hundreds of America’s veterans who are struggling the most by distributing over $10,000 in gift cards during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Each Visa gift card was valued at $50, which veterans could use towards the purchase of food, clothing, and toys for their families.
“This has truly been a wonderful experience,” said GI Go Executive Director Jack Fanous. “To understand the true meaning of the holiday season, you don’t need to travel to Rockefeller Center or the Macy’s Parade. Instead, you must see the faces of these families, and at that moment you will realize that the meaning of the holidays is giving, and that helping a neighbor in need is the ultimate form of celebration. These neighbors in particular are the men and women who have and continue to serve our country, and to give to those who have given so much to us is the greatest honor of my life.”
The organization was able to distribute these cards to needy families thanks in large part to the record-breaking Jeans For Troops fundraising drive during Veterans Day 2014. The nationwide movement featured employees at thousands of companies and schools joining the millions of people who have already supported the GI Go Fund by donating $5 and wearing Jeans to work to honor our military veterans.
In addition to the funds distributed this holiday season, the organization is planning on handing out thousands more in aid to veteran families in the coming year.
“While I am the one that is giving these cards away, it is not because of me or the GI Go Fund, but rather our supporters who are offering the assistance,” said Fanous. “When we give out a gift card to a veteran, we have millions of donors standing alongside us. We are blessed to have had the chance to turn the unbelievable generosity of so many people to help more veterans during the holidays than ever before. We must always keep in our hearts and minds what these families and so many others go through during this time of year. I am so proud and honored to have had the opportunity to help so many of our nation’s veterans in need this holiday season, and I hope to have the chance to help countless more in 2015.”
The cards were distributed at many different locations, including the Bordentown NJ Armory with Assemblyman Troy Singleton and Brigadier General James Grant, as well as at the Brick Town Hall with Mayor John Ducey, and at the Ocean County Veterans Services Bureau. Hundreds more were given out to veterans throughout the country who expressed a need for the funds in time for the holidays.
The GI Go Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that provides assistance to all military veterans, with a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, by helping them find employment, access housing, and secure their educational and health benefits. The group accomplishes these goals through strong partnerships like the one created in Newark, NJ with now Senator Cory Booker. In addition to these efforts, the organization offers support to veterans in need every year, as it has distributed tens of thousands in cards throughout the years to veterans in the area looking for a helping hand during the holidays.Related Articles: