20th Anniversary “Above and Beyond” Initiative

Twenty years ago, in 2004, a determined group of military spouses saw first-hand the challenges faced by wounded Marines and Sailors returning from Iraq. With $500 in initial funding and a first gift of $5,000, they acted quickly to ensure those injured service members and their families were never alone or forgotten. In 2012, Semper Fi & America’s Fund (The Fund) expanded its support to include wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and military families from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Fund’s model of lifelong relationships between those we serve and our Case Management team is completely unique among veteran-serving organizations. Our service members, veterans, and military families become a part of our Fund family — and we become a part of theirs — for life.

Our goal is to ensure those we serve achieve and maintain an overall improved state of well-being, while reaching their highest possible quality of life and level of independence. We reach this goal by providing life-changing services through our three innovative program areas — Service Member & Family Support, Transition, and Integrative Wellness.

Now, in our 20th year, we celebrate and mark this occasion by strengthening our financial resources in order to protect and sustain all that we have achieved together. Over the next 18 months, we will encourage our supporters to make an anniversary “above and beyond” commitment to any of three special initiatives.

Every now and then something unexpected happens. COVID-19. The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Extreme fluctuations in inflation. A temporary surge in battlefield injuries. Over the past 20 years, when these moments have occurred, The Fund has found a way to meet the needs of our families thanks to our dedicated donors. As part of our 20th anniversary, The Fund is taking a new step in protecting our families by establishing the Semper Fi & America’s Fund Rapid Response Fund. The vision for this fund, which is not to exceed $3 million, is to create a buffer against unforeseen circumstances. We do not want to see our daily support for Fund families disrupted by circumstances we cannot predict. At the same time, every single year, we are presented with real-time emergency situations that require rapid response. While we are always proud to rise to these occasions, it creates a strain on our day-to-day support for families, which must never be disrupted. This fund will ensure that, when short-term needs arise in a given year, we will be there.

Thanks to our donors, we continue to lend support to our existing families year after year… while welcoming over 2,000 new families annually. We are currently meeting the needs of only 9% of the wounded, ill, and injured population, and we know that additional support is needed. Looking ahead to the sustainability of The Fund, we must make plans for the future. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we have established a Sustainability Fund that will allow for longer-term financial planning and have a positive impact several years into the future. These invested gifts will protect funding for current families while also creating a financial path to serve more families every year.

Planned gifts seem daunting. The moment that words like “estate planning” enter into the conversation, it seems like something that is beyond us. The truth is that nearly 90% of these gifts are simple bequests that provide for a set dollar amount or percentage within a will or trust. Bequests are often the “ultimate gift” that someone gives to a cause they love. An individual who makes an annual gift of $5,000 in his or her lifetime will often leave a bequest of $50,000, $100,000 or far, far more. These gifts act as a final vote of confidence in the work that is being performed, allowing us to meet the ongoing needs of those we support – replacements for vehicles and equipment that wear out, repairs and modifications to aging homes, additional therapies, and yet-to-be-invented treatments for service members and veterans as they age with their injuries.

To donate to the Rapid Response or Sustainability Funds, complete the form below.

To learn about Planned Giving, contact Susan Reid at 760-994-3509 or susan.reid@thefund.org.

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