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Wounded Warrior Project launches $10 million veteran relief program

Wounded Warrior Project (U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/Flickr)

Wounded Warrior Project is launching a $10 million program that would send out $1,000 checks to 10,000 of the veterans who are registered to get services from the Jacksonville-based non-profit.

Wounded Warrior Project CEO Mike Linnington said the organization has gotten “just a flood of folks asking for emergency financial assistance.”

He said Wounded Warrior Project has always offered such help but it’s been in the range of $2 million per year.

“We got together with our team and the board and said if we have the means now in terms helping veterans in need, let’s do it,” he said. “We know that isolation is a killer. Isolation coupled with financial distress could be a real problem, especially for the population we serve, so we just put our chips in the middle of the table and said let’s do it now and see if we could do more later.”

A report by the Bob Woodruff Foundation found that “vast numbers of veterans are likely to be unemployed at rates that could surpass the highest level of veteran unemployment in the post-9/11 era.”

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New veterans transitioning from the military in search of jobs and older veterans are the most vulnerable groups, the Woodruff Foundation found.

The report said veterans with pre-existing mental health conditions will come under more stress as a result of loneliness due to social isolation,and the sudden loss of jobs or pay.

The emergency assistance from Wounded Warrior Project, which is one of the nation’s largest charities, is just for those registered with Wounded Warrior Project. The nonprofit has more than 170,000 people it calls “alumni” who get free services from Wounded Warrior Project.

Linnington said even at $10 million, Wounded Warrior Project won’t be able to meet all the needs. The organization is asking only those who are in facing hard times in paying for food and housing to apply.

Wounded Warrior Project is appealing to corporate partners and foundations to match the $10 million so more veterans can get the financial aid.

Organizations interested in helping can contact Wounded Warrior Project at [email protected].

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© 2020 The Florida Times-Union