The Issue: Strain of Deployment on Family Mental Health
As of October 2012, there were nearly 70,000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan, according to a report in the Atlantic. Deployments to war zones can negatively affect the mental health of not only service members but also their families. Nearly 48% of veterans said they felt strains in their relationships with their spouse and children after they returned home, according to data from the Pew Research Center, and 37% suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder. Also, 84% of veterans feel that Americans are largely unaware of the problems they and their families face.
The Campaign: Providing Phone Cards to Troops
If 27 people donate $15 to this Grassroots campaign, then USA Cares can provide 78-minute international phone cards for 25 active-duty troops deployed to Afghanistan, allowing them to call home for the holidays. By communicating with their support system, service members can experience a boost in morale, forge a stronger family connection, and alleviate some of the mental strain from their time in the war zone. Each additional $15 raised will fund a phone card for another service member in Afghanistan.
Check out more Groupon Grassroots campaigns here.
USA Cares is a 501c3 national nonprofit that supports active-duty military members and post-9/11 veterans with grassroots advocacy and financial assistance. Their mission statement explains that they exist "to help bear the burdens of service by providing post-9/11 service members, veterans, and their families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need." To fulfill this goal, the organization provides payments to mortgage lenders and utility companies, and funds transportation services that enable veterans to achieve self-sufficiency and prevent financial crises.
USA Cares's family-resource call center serves as an outlet for post-9/11 military families experiencing difficulties related to service. Experienced Family Resource Coordinators guide families through the process of receiving financial support from USA Cares, in addition to identifying the best services and benefits available for each family to improve the total assistance delivered. USA Cares responds to all requests with personal attention and detail regardless of whether or not USA Cares is able to provide aid, sending written thanks for sacrifices and detailed explanations of the decisions. The organization does not accept repayment or charge fees for its services, and relies on donations from citizens, businesses, and foundations.