Arizona-Based Non-Profit Assists Underserved Rural Areas through National Grant

February 4, 2021

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families, a non-profit providing resources, support and advocacy for Arizona’s service members, veterans and their families, is proud to announce that it has received multiple grants from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, including an NFL-Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) partnership grant as part of the “Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community” program, to support the Be Connected program to address urgent needs related to COVID-19. The award is part of an investment of $1.6 million to best-in-class organizations that are providing programs and services to veterans, caregivers, and military families impacted by COVID-19 across the country.

The funding is providing support, resources and solutions to Arizona’s service members, veterans, their families and caregivers with an upstream, early intervention approach to suicide prevention that reduces stress at home, especially with the specific needs of the veteran community related to the impact of the pandemic.

“The immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on our veterans and their families is wide-ranging—including mental health challenges, economic concerns and the anxiety that comes from financial uncertainty. With this generous support from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, we are able to offer additional support for the most pressing needs for our Arizona families during COVID-19, including housing, employment, transportation, access to basic needs like water and firewood and financial support.”

Thomas Winkel, veteran and founder of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families

Headquartered in Phoenix, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families operates the Be Connected support line, 866-4AZ-VETS, that offers no cost concierge-style assistance with a navigation team located all across the state who specialize in understanding the needs of Arizona’s diverse military and veteran population. From navigating the VA healthcare system to finding housing and helping veterans and their family members advance their careers, the Be Connected program is grateful for the generous support from this grant to further expand its service offerings concentrated in northern Arizona to include the following:

  • Be Connected Transportation: No cost transportation services to deliver essentials (food, prescriptions, etc.). This program operates with volunteer drivers and will expand to transporting veterans to appointments and stores once safe to do so with COVID-19. 
  • Clean Water to the Hopi and Navajo Nations: Partnering to deliver 300-gallon water containers to homes with no access to running water on the Hopi and Navajo Nations, resulting in more consistent access to clean water for drinking and hygiene.
  • Direct Assistance: Delivering direct financial assistance to veteran households in rural communities in northern Arizona including mortgage and rent assistance, car repairs, utility assistance, firewood, supplies and more.
  • Food Security: Addressing food insecurity in the veteran community through assistance and support to identify additional resources for on-going needs.

Through this generous support, the Arizona Coalition of Military Families joins an extensive, nationwide BWF grantee network that is a multi-faceted collaboration of organizations working to changing the lives of our military heroes throughout all stages of their career, from enlistment through retirement.

For more information on the programs and services offered exclusively to Arizona service members, veterans and their families through the Arizona Coalition for Military Families’ Be Connected program, visit www.BeConnectedAZ.org or call 866-4AZ-VETS (429-8387).

Learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation at bobwoodrufffoundation.org, follow @Stand4Heroes on Twitter and on Facebook at facebook.com/Stand4Heroes.

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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, including suicide prevention, mental health, caregiver support, and food insecurity. To date, BWF has invested over $75 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.

About the Arizona Coalition for Military Families
The mission of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families is to connect the 500,000+ military members, veterans and their families in Arizona to the right resources at the right time through the Be Connected program. The Coalition is recognized as a national leader for its ability to bring together Arizona’s public and private sector partners in a unified effort. Launched in 2009, the Coalition works nationally and locally to advocate for veterans and military families, build the infrastructure needed to expand and sustain Arizona’s statewide capacity to care for, serve and support service members, veterans and their families.  The Coalition’s membership extends across all levels of local, state and federal government agencies as well as a vast network of employers, healthcare providers, faith-based organizations and non-profit partners. These groups come together each spring for the statewide Arizona Symposium that offers speakers, breakout sessions and workshops to further the Coalition’s mission. To learn more about the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, visit www.ArizonaCoalition.org.

About the Be Connected® Program
Be Connected links Arizona service members, veterans, families and community helpers to information, support and resources. Be Connected includes a support line, resource matching website, statewide team of community-based navigators and training for everyone. Launched with the help, support and guidance of the late Senator John McCain, and now operated with support from the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Be Connected is available to any member of the military, veteran and family community by calling 1-866-4AZ-VETS (429-8387) for help and support. Organizations that want to support and join our efforts can begin the process here. For more information, to find support and learn more, visit www.BeConnectedAZ.org.

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Special thanks to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family for their partnership and support.

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