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President General Initiatives for 2013-2014: Helping the USO Help America’s Military
IV. Helping the USO Help America’s Military
(Opportunity for State Societies and Chapters)
In 2010, President General Ed Butler presented the Distinguished Patriotic Leadership Award to Sloan Gibson, President of the United Service Organizations – the USO. For all the USO does to help our men and women in the military and their families, this was a well-deserved award. But I believe the SAR can and should do more.
From July 11, 2013 through July 15, 2014, every State Society or Chapter that donates $250 to the USO, or the equivalent value in goods or time, shall be awarded an NSSAR streamer. If a State Society or Chapter donates more than $250, for every increment of $250 beyond the initial $250 – in cash or the equivalent value in goods or time – the State Society or Chapter shall be awarded a star to be affixed to the streamer.
- Go to www.uso.org to learn the locations of USO Centers in your town or state.
- Contact the nearest USO Center, and tell them you want to donate cash or goods or volunteer your time. If you need help finding or connecting with the nearest USO Center, please contact Kyndele Cooke at USO headquarters. Her number is listed below.
- In the name of your State Society or Chapter, donate:
- $250 in cash, or
- $250 worth of goods, or
- $250 worth of your time, or
- A combination of these, totaling $250.
If your State Society or Chapter makes a cash donation, you may designate it to be allocated to your local USO Center, or toward one or more of several USO programs, specifically:
- With You All the Way Program. The With You All the Way Program supports children ages six to 18 as they tackle the difficult issues of growing up in a military family. The programs deal with serious issues such as deployment, separation, and reintegration when their parent comes home to their “new normal.”
- Warrior & Family Care. The USO has established a first-class network of support for our wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers, as well as the families of the fallen. The USO Warrior & Family Care program supports the continuum of care that gives these men and women the best chance to heal with honor.
- United Through Reading. United Through Reading’s Military Program hosted by the USO enables troops to read and record a story aloud to a child. A package containing the DVD and book are sent home to the military child helping to keep the family connected. $500 will help 50 deployed parents read their children a bedtime story.
- Mobile Entertainment Gaming Systems (MEGS) is a portable, self-contained and highly durable multimedia platform created to give our troops endless hours of fun and relaxation. Each MEGS supports Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii.
- Families of the Fallen Support. The USO supports dignified transfers at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware – the first stop on American soil for U.S. troops who have paid the ultimate price serving their country. The USO offers families travel assistance, supports the families’ on-site needs and introduces them to special programs to help cope with their grief when they return home.
- USO2GO. Designed to send much needed electronic gaming, sports/musical equipment and personal care items to troops in remote locations.
- USO Center Operations. The USO provides services, programs and entertainment at more than 160 USO Centers in the United States and around the world. In 2012, USO Centers were visited more than nine million times by troops and their families.
- Entertainment. The USO is probably best known for entertainment tours that bring celebrities and performers who graciously donate their time and talents to visit our troops and families wherever they serve.
Most local USO Centers do not have banking capability, so cash donations must be sent to USO headquarters. Please be sure in your correspondence to USO headquarters to make clear for which USO program or local USO Center your donation is intended. Please use this form for cash donations.
If compatriots in your State Society or Chapter wish to donate goods, check with the local USO Center first, and ask them what they need. Be sure to retain documentation of the dollar value of your donations of goods. If you donate a case of bottled water, for example, save the receipt. If you donate a used book or other household items, check with the local USO Center to determine the dollar value of such donations. If you have any questions about the dollar value of the goods or items you would like to donate to the USO, please contact Lisa Ferrari at USO headquarters.
If compatriots in your State Society or Chapter wish to donate time, check with the local USO Center, and ask them about volunteer opportunities. Be sure to keep track of the hours you volunteer at the local USO Center. For purposes of this President General Initiative, for every hour of your time volunteered for the USO, your State Society or Chapter shall be credited with a $10 donation.
Dan McMurray shall be the SAR point-of-contact on this PG Initiative. Dan and the SAR-USO Task Force shall keep track of donations of cash, goods or time by SAR State Societies and Chapters. If you have any questions about this Initiative, please contact Dan at sfcmcmsbcglobal [dot] net.
Send documentation of all your donations (cash, goods and time) to Kyndele Cooke, with a copy to SFC Dan McMurray, Chairman of the SAR-USO Task Force. Kyndele and Dan’s addresses and other contact information are listed below.
For the purposes of the Americanism Contest, a state society or chapter’s participation in this President General Initiative may be recorded on the Americanism Score Sheet in either Tab 9 as a carry forward from the points earned on the USS Stark Award; or, in Tab 16, Section A, which has been amended to include the USO as an additional fund.
2111 Wilson Boulevard, No. 1200
Arlington, VA 22201
kcookeuso [dot] org
SFC Dan McMurray
Chairman SAR-USO Task Force
3576 W. McKenzie Street
Battlefield, MO 65619
sfcmcmsbcglobal [dot] net