The 2020 Army Emergency Relief annual fundraising campaign comes to an end Friday.
2020 marks the 78th anniversary of the Army’s own non-profit organization, which has provided more than $2 billion to Soldiers, retirees and family members since 1942.
According to Chuck Matthews, Fort Leonard Wood AER officer, the installation’s goal this year is to raise $150,000. The Army also has a goal that at least 23 percent of Soldiers donate to the campaign.
As of July 24, donations here totaled $22,186 with 6.5 percent of Soldiers donating.
“If every Soldier gave just $1 or $2 per payday – $2 or $4 per month – we would exceed the goals and be one of the top units in U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command,” Matthews said. “For the cost of one coffee or a slice of pizza every month, you could help a fellow Soldier in need. It doesn’t have to hurt to give to the campaign. Lots of small donations make the difference.”
Matthews said that although this year’s fundraising campaign has been delayed and impacted by COVID-19, the local AER staff have helped Soldiers and families meet their needs during this time with $171,958 provided to more than 100 Soldiers since March.
“AER has been helping many Soldiers with rent, utility and car payments due to loss of a spouse’s job or (permanent change of station) delays, as well as home schooling supplies and temporary lodging,” he said. “However, without Soldiers donating to the AER campaign, we wouldn’t be able to provide the financial assistance to Soldiers, retirees and families at the levels we do, or as often as we do. It is important to donate to AER to help your fellow Soldiers when financial emergencies arise.”
Matthews said Soldiers can donate by payroll allotment, credit or debit card online or by cash or check. Civilian personnel can also donate to AER at any time. All donations are tax deductible.
The 2019 campaign raised $195,239 in donations and 27.8 percent of Soldiers donated to AER. In turn, the AER provided $795,732 in loans and grants to 657 Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers, as well as 122 educational scholarships worth $145,803 to 68 children and 54 spouses on post. This totals $941,535, or $4.75 in assistance for every dollar donated to the campaign.
Matthews encouraged everyone to contact their unit AER representatives and donate. For more information, call the installation campaign coordinator, Capt. Walter Kincade, at 573.596.2592, or the AER office at 573.596.0212.