Letter to Our Warrior Community
Dear Warrior Family,
Over a week ago our Foundation for Women Warriors team began working from home until further notice and as of late last week we joined a growing cohort of business and civic leaders taking proactive actions to ensure the safety of our friends, families, and neighbors by limiting our individual public interaction.
While COVID-19 has an unprecedented impact on our communities and the world, I want to keep you informed on the impact on our services, the actions we are taking, and opportunities to be of service.
Delivery of Our Services
Foundation for Women Warriors remains steadfast in our mission to enhance the economic well-being of women veterans and especially so during this critical period of time. Having operated in a hybrid of remote and in-person office for the past few years, we have demonstrated our capacity to meet the needs of our veterans both efficiently and effectively in a remote environment.
While the impact on our veterans, many of which are working single mothers, is still unfolding, we are beginning to see significant shift and/or increase in their housing and financial needs. As many colleges have discontinued on-campus residence and classes we are monitoring the impact this will have on student veterans who had a to move off campus.
For nearly 100 years we have been the number one resource for military women and are continuing to connect our warriors with critical and timely resources. We are delivering up-to-date geographically pertinent information to connect our veterans to services alleviating food insecurity, providing small business loans, emergency stipends, as well as updated local community guidance.
These resources can also be found on our website at: https://foundationforwomenwarriors.org/resources/
Inquiries regarding our emergency financial assistance programs can be made here: https://foundationforwomenwarriors.org/application/
Our on-line mentoring program through our partnership with Veterati remains open and active affording veterans the opportunity to use this time to connect with business professionals regarding employment.
Additionally, we will deliver our professional development content and tips through online interactive forums in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can join our online community groups for useful content here:
Understanding the Short and Long-Term Impact
The cancellation of events, meetings, and conferences is being felt nationwide and on so many levels, as is the fallout from the stock market. All of our in-person events have been postponed at this time, including our annual Women’s History Month fundraiser held by our wonderful partner, Connected Women of Influence.
Just yesterday I received a call from a long-time monthly donor, who is also a veteran, asking to cancel her monthly donation. The pain in her voice was palpable as she apologized for not being able to donate any longer. She owns a pet-sitting business, a vacation rental property, and tends bar to supplement the variable income in her two businesses, both which have been significantly impacted by the necessary isolation and social distancing mandates. She is a successful veteran and a generous donor that has kept our lights on, and our veterans housed. Now she is in a situation in which she could be a candidate for one of our emergency stipends.
As an organization, we are sourcing our persistent strength and resilience as we remain both optimistic and realistic about the short and long-term impact to our programs, events, and financial health. We are working with our board, community partners, and funding organizations as we rapidly plan for the changing road ahead.
Should you feel compelled to donate you can do so here: https://foundationforwomenwarriors.org/donations/
Our organization has long adapted to needs of veterans and their families and will continue to do so.
Tips for Today
The actions we take today will define our National character and trajectory for the next century.
At a time when so many things seem out of our control it can be tempting to recede into inactivity. We can instead revisit the Mr. Rogers’ quote “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” We can commit to all be helpers, no matter how big and small.
A tiny mantra I picked up in 1st Marine Division while under command of General James A. Mattis, that has served me well to be a “helper” and especially in times of high stress:
“What do I know? Who needs to know it? And have I told them yet?”
Perhaps we make one small but important edit to the mantra: “What do I know? Is it both true and helpful? Who needs to know it? And have I told them yet?”
As our country faces such uncertainty, it is in our response of being of service to one another that we can find a bit of purpose and solace. This could mean:
- sharing emails regarding critical resources,
- making social media posts that direct people to help in their area,
- checking in on single parents,
- calling our elderly neighbors,
- lending some time and your expertise on Veterati to tele-mentor a veteran for just an hour a week.
I am confident we will pull through this uncertain and chaotic moment more unified and better than ever. After all, the Warrior Spirit resides in us all.
Jodie M. Grenier
Chief Executive Officer
Foundation for Women Warriors