Chief among the reasons why the organization stood out are its work surrounding cultivating quality social and community relationships and sustaining a sense of belonging for troops, veterans, first responders, military families, and caregivers. This mirrors Samsung’s active efforts to build a workplace culture of connectedness and belonging, focusing on making our employees feel valued and ensuring their insights and perspectives matter.
Samsung Veterans Community ERG National Chair and Director of Mobile B2B Business Strategy John Hendrick spoke with Operation Homefront’s Program Manager – Region One Kathleen Coleman about the significance of giving back at a time when our collective support is needed most and the importance of building strong military families in the community.
Tell us about Operation Homefront and the various programs you offer military families.
Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.
For over 15 years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems.
In order to thrive, people need to feel a sense of belonging. How is your organization improving military families’ connectedness to their communities?
Operation Homefront is committed to building connectedness between military families and their communities. We accomplish this through our Recurring Family Support programs such as Back-to-School Brigade, Star-Spangled Babies Baby Showers, and our Holiday Meals for Military programs. Each of these programs has a community expo component that connects the families to resources in their communities. We survey our program participants after each event to determine if they feel the event made them more strong, stable, and or secure.
Have the programs and services you provide changed in response to the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a tremendous toll on the financial stability of our nation’s military families. Operation Homefront remains focused on supporting them when they need it the most. To date, we have fulfilled nearly 1,000 urgent requests and provided over $710,000 in financial relief.
How important is volunteer engagement to your organization?
Operation Homefront relies heavily on our more than 4,000 volunteers who support our mission and help us deliver our programs. The commitment and support from volunteers, like Samsung employees, is what allows Operation Homefront to make a real and positive difference in the lives of our military families and veterans.
For Samsung Gives Month of Service, what initiatives did Samsung employees support?
All of the Military Gratitude kits assembled by Samsung employees in partnership with Project Helping, a non-profit that organizes volunteer events specifically designed to make an impact in the community, were sent to Operation Homefront for the Holiday Meals for Military Event.
The added expense of the holiday season can be challenging for military families. We at Operation Homefront recognize that many military families are separated during this time due to deployments and others travel long distances to be together. Holiday Meals for Military is Operation Homefront’s way of saying thank you for their service and the sacrifices that they have made for our country! In 2019, our Holiday Meals for Military program served 15,853 families — nearly 60,000 individual family members.
How do such efforts drive community impact?
Through our programs, we are helping to build strong, stable, and secure military families that thrive in our communities. Here is how we are making a difference: Financial assistance of $29 million to help 46,000 requests from military families to pay bills, buy groceries, and more across the U.S. fulfilled. $90 million in home equity through Homes on the Homefront. 110,000 military families served holiday meals throughout the year.
As an additional ‘thank you’ all Veterans, active duty military and their families are eligible for exclusive offers and discounts at samsung.com.