Arizona nonprofit receives grants to help veterans with COVID hardships

February 7, 2021 AT 5:45 AM

PHOENIX — The Arizona Coalition for Military Families announced Thursday it has received multiple grants from the Bob Woodruff Foundation to further support Arizona’s service members, veterans and their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants will go toward the organization’s “Be Connected” program, which offers free concierge-style assistance to help veterans find solutions for their specific needs through a support line and resource-matching website.

Launched with the support of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the program helps veterans with tasks like navigating the VA healthcare system, find housing and advance their careers, among other needs.

“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,” Thomas Winkel, veteran and founder of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, said in a press release.

The program will also use the grant to further expand offerings concentrated in northern Arizona, according to the release.“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.”

This includes offering no-cost transportation services to deliver essential items; provide water to the Hopi and Navajo reservations; aid with mortgage and rent assistance, car repairs and utility assistance; and identify additional resources to address food security.

The grants to the Arizona Coalition for Military Families are part of a $1.6 million investment to organizations across the country dedicated to helping veterans by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which was started in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb covering the war in Iraq.

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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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