The USO lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families.
In 1941, as it became clear that the nation was heading into World War II, several organizations mobilized to support the growing U.S. military: the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created synergy among these agencies by forming the United Service Organizations or USO, with the objective of providing the emotional support the troops needed. On May 16, 1984 the USO of Hampton Roads was chartered to support the local military population in the Hampton Roads region. Most recently, the USO of Hampton Roads expanded our current reach to include the Central Virginia region and in February 2010 became the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USOHRCV). Over time the USO has evolved, developing new programs and services to meet the ever-changing needs of the troops and their families, while holding fast to the original mission.
At one time, in between international conflicts, there was some question about whether or not there was a continuing need for USO services throughout the world. As a result, it became more difficult to raise the funds to operate. Of course, no sooner than the thought was expressed, there was indeed another conflict and the need not only continued, but expanded due to the changing nature of modern warfare. Your USOHRCV is now a fiscally responsible, financially stable, exceptional steward of donor dollars, and is limited in numbers of troops served only by the dollars flowing to and through its bank account. More money means more Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen that can receive maximum goodness to enhance their quality of life.
The USO doesn’t save lives. It doesn’t repair damaged bodies or build prosthetic limbs. What we do is enhance the quality of life for countless active duty military members and their families with offerings that might not otherwise be affordable or available to them. Junior enlisted members do not earn high incomes but are frequently the ones who called to do the most dangerous work of the military. Long deployments take their toll on all military family members. The USO is there, on military bases, in airports, and in every theater in which there is a conflict. Perhaps the best way to gauge the long term impact of our services is this: Every USO employee has multiple stories of being stopped by grateful service people who express their sometimes tearful appreciation for a hot cup of coffee, a kind word, a Skype opportunity to witness the birth of a new baby, or a holiday party that takes the edge off the absence of a deployed mom or dad. We need them. They need us. We need you. It’s your community and your USO. And we matter to those who need us most.
The USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia also works closely with other 501(c)(3) organizations such as Wounded Wear, Armed Services YMCA, Blue Star Families, Gold Star Families, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Honor and Remember, the Virginia Stage Company and The Nauticus Foundation. The USO is able to fill in the gaps where these organizations’ reach may not extend. The Boy and Girl Scouts provide the USO with popcorn, peanuts, and Girl Scout Cookies they have collected for the troops so that we may distribute them. We also work closely with the other organizations named, providing support when they are unable to do so and vice versa.
At one time, in between international conflicts, there was some question about whether or not there was a continuing need for USO services throughout the world. As a result, it became more difficult to raise the funds to operate. Of course, no sooner than the thought was expressed, there was indeed another conflict and the need not only continued, but expanded due to the changing nature of modern warfare. Your USOHRCV is now a fiscally responsible, financially stable, exceptional steward of donor dollars, and is limited in numbers of troops served only by the dollars flowing to and through its bank account. More money means more Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen that can receive maximum goodness to enhance their quality of life. And with a 92% program to 8% operating ratio, donors can rest assured their money is actually supporting the mission.
Serving the largest military population in the world is not a responsibility the USOHRCV takes lightly. The economic challenges our country faces makes the original mission of the USO ever more important. Our base centers have seen a significant upsurge in visitation due to the dramatic decrease in quality of life opportunities once provided by the government. Due to sequestration, MWR and other base programs have been slashed or eliminated entirely. This summer, pools remained closed, sports and dance programs cut, heretofore beloved activities jettisoned. This is particularly harsh for junior enlisted families, who rely upon these programs to enrich the lives of their children during the long summer months.
All of the activities outlined previously are extremely important to our primary mission of enhancing the quality of life of our armed services personnel and their families. Stated simply but truthfully, greater income means more and better services that can be provided. Our overriding goal is always to reach more clients, and serve them consistently better through paying close attention to their feedback. We already have an impressive number of annual activities and services, but are always on the lookout for additions that further the mission. Each must pass an initial litmus test medley of mission-relativity, maximum reach, and cost efficiency. Any new activity that goes live will only be continued if our user evaluations prove its value.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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