With U.S. military action ongoing in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Maurice Shuff joined the military in May of 2004 as member of the Pennsylvania National Guard Reserve. After years of honoring his commitment to America by serving as needed here at home, he was eventually called to active duty and was deployed to Iraq for most of 2009. While serving in Iraq, Maurice was injured.
He was discharged from the military in 2010, returned home, and was then granted partial disability status by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department. By 2011, although he was able to find employment at an electronics retail store, he did not make enough money to both pay for the cost of living and pay for his outstanding federal student loan and other student loans that had accrued over the years. He needed just a little help to improve his chances of digging himself out of the hole that had been created in his efforts to obtain a college degree. That’s when he reached out to ARMing Heroes.
At that time, ARMing Heroes had just completed its Second Annual Veterans Day Charity Fundraising Drive (“the Drive”). As a result of the drive, the credit and collection industry raised more than $27,000 in only a ten-week period starting on September 11th and concluding on Veterans Day, November 11th. Donations from the drive more than doubled the previous year’s total, thanks to these donors.
The single largest donor in 2011 by far was Southwest Credit, which instituted an Employee Contribution Program (ECP). The Southwest Credit ECP empowers workers to have the company make donations, through payroll deductions, to ARMing Heroes to help America’s veterans. Employees can choose to do this either on a one-time basis or over the course of an entire year. ARMing Heroes estimates that, if only half of its other corporate donors would implement an ECP, the organization could easily raise $400,000 or more this year. ARMing Heroes will hold a teleseminar on June 14, 2012 at 11:30AM (EST) to provide more information on how to set up an ECP. Click here to sign up for the teleseminar.
In December of last year, Maurice got the help he needed. He received not only a grant that helped him pay off his federal student loan, but also a few pointers on how to deal with his creditors that enabled him to have leftover grant monies that were then used to pay other bills. Maurice recently took the time to tell ARMing Heroes how this small grant made a difference in his life.
“I wanted to THANK ARMing Heroes for helping me out in a time of need. Last year I received an email from the organization about a program called “No Debts for Vets.” I had just recently separated from the army after my 6 years of service and one year served in Iraq. Now back as a civilian working at a retail store … I found myself living from check to check and to top things off I was having my wages garnished for an old school loan. So with bills and obvious life obstacles things were hard and anything positive at this time would have helped me. Once I got the ARMing Heroes email I sent my application right away. Of course like most things you apply for you don’t think it will happen or come true. So I was extremely surprised when I received the call that I was chosen to be [a] recipient of [a] grant for my loan. I was at a loss for words. I just couldn’t believe something positive was happening to me after my few money struggles. It’s very refreshing to see people out there who really care about military soldiers and vets. It is a difficult transition for soldiers coming home from a deployment and leaving the service. So any help or kind words that we receive always are nice to have. That’s why I must say I appreciate the work that ARMing Heroes has done and is doing, so hopefully this time next year we can read another military vet’s story of appreciation.
ARMing Heroes was founded and began operating in March 2009. The organization’s mission is to serve the needs of U.S. military veterans, including their spouse and children. ARMing Heroes fills a charitable niche by linking people identified with employment, credit, and financial counseling needs with the accounts receivable management industry, an industry uniquely poised to help in these areas. Persons interested in volunteering their time and others interested in applying for benefits or pledging other forms of support are encouraged to contact the organization at www.armingheroes.org.
What Can I Do Right Now to Help?
- Join our seminar on June 14, 2012 to see how you can help us get to $400K in donations this year. Click here to sign up.
- Visit www.armingheroes.org and join our One for a Warrior Program, sign up to help in other ways, or donate now.
- Friend us and post this article to your page on Facebook.
- Tweet about this article on Twitter.
- Join our group on LinkedIn, the ARMing Heroes Veterans Charity Supporter / Assistance Center.
- Comment on this article online and ask us to contact you.
- Forward this article via email to your key contacts.
- Print this article and fax it to your local congressional office and ask them to post our website on theirs as a resource for vets.