Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Donations by troops hold up in economic slump

Apr. 13, 2010 - 01:12PM   |   Last Updated: Apr. 13, 2010 - 01:12PM  |  
  • Filed Under

The military community continues to rally behind its relief societies, even in tough economic times.

In 2009, soldiers donated $5.8 million to Army Emergency Relief — the highest one-year total from active-duty soldiers in AER's history, officials said — compared with $5.3 million the year before.

More than $1 million came from soldiers deployed to Iraq, said retired Lt. Gen. Robert Foley, AER director. "We tell deployed units not to worry about it," but soldiers insist on giving anyway, he said. "We get packages from Iraq and Afghanistan with checks, cash, allotment forms."

But overall donations to AER, including from retirees and other individuals, declined by about 10 percent, from $12 million in 2008 to $10.8 million in 2009, according to unaudited data.

Overall donations to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society stayed stable at $16.9 million in 2009, compared with $16.8 million the year before. But donations from active duty and retirees were down by about 4.5 percent, spokesman John Alexander said.

Donations from airmen to the Air Force Aid Society in 2009 were down by $30,000 — less than 1 percent — from the $4.69 million donated in 2008, AFAS officials said. Overall AFAS donations were down more than 17 percent, at $6.09 million in 2009 compared with $7.36 million in 2008. But AFAS Chief Executive Officer John Hopper said programs were not affected because officials pulled from their available assets.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance saw donations rise 5 percent, to $2.16 million in 2009 from $2.05 million in 2008, executive director Barry Boisvere said.

While the other relief societies generally have held steady in their requests for emergency financial assistance, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society saw a 17 percent spike in requests in 2009. That is attributed to more Quick Assist Loans, designed to get loans to service members within 15 minutes. NMCRS gave 7.2 percent more in emergency financial aid to sailors and Marines last year than in 2008.

AER provided $71.7 million to soldiers and their families in 2009, compared with $70.9 in 2008, although the number of cases was down by 1 percent. Most of that assistance was in the form of interest-free loans, but grants increased from $5.5 million in 2008 to $6.7 million in 2009.

AFAS's emergency assistance to airmen dipped from $13.7 million in 2008 to $12.2 million in 2009, according to unaudited data.

AER and AFAS did not turn down requests for assistance because of a lack of funds; there were simply fewer requests.

AER, for example, has $170 million in available assets as of April 7, not including loans that soldiers are repaying, Foley said.

The three larger relief societies all withdrew money from their assets to provide assistance in 2009. AER withdrew $13 million; NMCRS $7.9 million; and AFAS $6.7 million.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Best federal contractors
The companies hiring the most veterans now

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook