Bob Woodruff Foundation Announces Latest Grants Addressing Urgent Needs of Veterans Impacted by Coronavirus; $6M To Support Veterans in 2020
On August 4, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) announced an investment of $1.6 million in 26 grants to best-in-class organizations that are providing programs and services to veterans, caregivers, and military families impacted by COVID-19. These expedited grants address pressing needs defined in BWF’s research paper “Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of America’s Veterans.”
This announcement marks the foundation’s second wave of expedited grants targeted toward programs helping veterans during COVID-19. In 2020 alone, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested over $6 million in supporting veterans and military families—the most funding the foundation has ever provided in a single year.
“We recognized early on that our veterans and their families were going to be facing a slew of urgent and long-term challenges due to COVID-19. Our original research paper helped us quickly pivot and push support where it is needed most,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “Now more than ever, we need to step up for those who have selflessly served. We’re so proud to work with organizations across the country who are changing lives with this funding.”
This latest wave of expedited grants emphasizes the urgent economic needs of veterans, including emergency financial support, housing assistance, and legal services. BWF is also investing in several programs helping veterans who are already experiencing homelessness.
Consistent with BWF’s findings in “Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of America’s Veterans”, these grants also reflect a renewed focus on veteran employment and education in light of COVID-19. Looking ahead to the long-term implications of the current employment crisis, BWF invested in grants providing professional training, mentorship, and job placement, as well as support for veterans seeking opportunities in higher education. This portfolio also includes programs focused on other needs related to the pandemic, including food insecurity, virtual physical activity, social connection, and safe respite for caregivers.
“To help ensure that this funding would have the greatest positive impact for veterans, we identified high-risk geographic areas in our original research paper based on data about industry, employment, and veteran population,” said Dr. Margaret Harrell, Chief Program Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “Our team actively reached out to those communities and shaped grants to support the veterans within them.”
Several grants in this portfolio were made possible thanks to BWF’s partnership with the National Football League (NFL). BWF-NFL funding will support a wide variety of programs addressing urgent needs including educational guidance and skills, emergency financial support, military cultural competency training for social workers, and support for veterans experiencing homelessness.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation is continuing to raise funds to support veterans and their families, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
For a full and detailed list of the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s expedited grant recipients, visit here.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation:
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested over $70 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members, and their family members, across the nation. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.
ForcesUnited Employment and Supportive Services
Service Area: South Carolina
Over 137,000 veterans live in the counties served by Forces United, including nearly 40,000 veterans in the Myrtle Beach-Conway area. BWF recently identified Myrtle Beach-Conway as one of 15 communities facing significant economic impact due to the pandemic, with more than 29 percent of the workforce working in five key industries that have faced significant layoffs and furloughs due to COVID-19. As a member of the SCServes network, ForcesUnited provides and coordinates care across multiple areas of need to serve veterans and their families holistically. In the wake of COVID-19, ForcesUnited anticipates seeing a 20-30 percent increase in veterans seeking assistance in employment, housing, benefits, and more. This grant will provide at least 125 South Carolina veterans with a combination of employment services, wrap-around support, and housing assistance. This comprehensive approach will improve veterans’ ability to find and sustain employment, identify and address barriers to employment such as transportation, childcare, food insecurity, and professional attire, and ensure that veterans at risk of homelessness remain stably housed.