In 2015, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union and its members donated nearly $30,000 to USA Cares that directly helped 48 military families to pay their utility bills, buy food and fuel as well as assist with housing costs.
USA Cares provides emergency assistance to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel and veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life after more than a decade of conflict. Both the number of individuals needing help and their requests to USA Cares are increasing.
Since opening its doors in 2003, USA Cares, a private, non-profit agency that provides advocacy along with emergency financial aid to service men and women as well as their families, has responded to more than 75,000 requests with over $12 million in grants that the recipients do not have to repay.
USA Cares started as a grassroots partnership of the Fort Knox Chapter of the Association of the United States Army; Kroger Food Stores – Mid-South Division; and WAVE-3 TV, the NBC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the early and continuing supporters of USA Cares has been Fort Knox Federal Credit Union.
“We know better than other financial institutions in this area about the special needs of the military, civil service employees and their dependents. Fort Knox Federal has been servicing the financial needs of its members for 65 years,” said Ray Springsteen, Fort Knox Federal President and CEO.
“Our organizational missions align in that both USA Cares and Fort Knox Federal are dedicated to improving the lives of our respective clients and members,” Springsteen added. The two organizations share another connection. USA Cares is one of more than 525 select employer groups of Fort Knox Federal making USA Cares employees eligible for Credit Union membership.
Some of Fort Knox Federal’s financial support for USA Cares came through individual Credit Union members’ joining the Patriot Club, “…which is open to anyone wishing to support our mission of helping bear the burdens of service by providing post-9/11 military families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need,” said Hank Patton, USA Cares Executive Director. Patriot Club members are also eligible for Fort Knox Federal membership.
In addition, Fort Knox Federal is a frequent corporate contributor to USA Cares activities, including its Annual Gala to honor and raise money for active military, veterans, and their families.
All corporate donations, Patriot Club dues and gifts go directly to sustain USA Cares’ support of military families. Club members receive quarterly newsletters with articles on upcoming events and how USA Cares makes a difference in the lives of so many of our nation’s heroes.
For example, an Air Force Reserve veteran, who served two combat tours in Afghanistan and left the service after a diagnosis of PTSD, was scheduled to begin work for a government contractor. Because the veteran had one month without pay, while waiting on his first paycheck, he fell behind on his auto loan. “USA Cares assisted this veteran during his transition with a loan payment to avoid the loss of his transportation,” Patton said.
For more information about USA Cares or Fort Knox Federal, please log on to www.usacares.org or www.fortknoxfcu.org, respectively.
Fort Knox Federal serves more than 88,000 members and operates 16 branches throughout central Kentucky with new branch buildings in Valley Station, Hodgenville, Danville, Brandenburg and Bardstown. Other Fort Knox Federal branches are conveniently located in Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Fort Knox, Leitchfield and Radcliff.