REPORT FROM OPERATION HOMEFRONT– The U.S. military mission is changing, and Operation Homefront is changing to prepare itself to best serve military service members and their families in Hawaii – now and beyond the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As part of its planning for the future, the organization is opening the Hawaii Field Office to serve military families and Wounded Warriors in the state.
Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and Wounded Warriors. Assistance is in the form of grants to meet the most basic of needs like rent, utilities, and food.
“Like our military, Operation Homefront has been asking questions like ‘How will our mission need to change?’ and ‘Where will the needs be?’ and ‘What resources will we have and how should those resources be best employed to help the most families?’” said Jim Knotts, Operation Homefront’s president and chief executive officer. “These are complicated questions, but it would be irresponsible not to take an active approach to making the changes necessary to continue supporting our troops.”
The non-profit’s network of staff and volunteers in the state will be led by Ashley Matta, who previously served as President of Operation Homefront’s Hawaii chapter.
“Military families already know that change is part of the deal when serving our country,” Matta said. “This is a new day for Operation Homefront, but the families of our service members in Hawaii can count on us to be there for them, now and after the deployments to Afghanistan end.”
As part of the transition, the previously independently-chartered Operation Homefront chapter in Hawaii will become a Field Office. The Board of Directors of the chapter voted to approve this change. Past donations will continue to be used for services to military families in Hawaii.
“With these changes, we will be able to leverage the strength of national support while serving our military families on the local level,” said Matta. “Our donors will continue to have the option of supporting local troops, or donating on a national level.”
“One of our benefits has always been our forward presence in communities around the country, where we serve our military families face-to-face,” Knotts said. “The change will eliminate some duplication of efforts and costs around administrative and management tasks, which means more of our donations go directly to serving families.”
About Operation Homefront: A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers with nationwide presence, and has met more than 590,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members. For more information, go towww.OperationHomefront.net.