As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NEOPAT is seeing an increased need for support from our local military families. WEWS News Channel 5 recently reported on the need for support and how NEOPAT is responding in this video:
“The biggest needs currently faced by military families are groceries and household items,” said Rick DeChant, NEOPAT Director of Strategic Initiatives. “We are responding the best we can with the distribution of gift cards to those businesses that stand ready to fulfill those needs.” DeChant said the easiest and quickest way to lend support to the 7,000 military families in the area is through the NEOPAT Giving Grid on its website: https://www.givinggrid.com/neopatsupport/
“In any given year since the founding of NEOPAT over 10 years ago, the organization has returned 60 percent of donations back to military families in need,” said DeChant. “With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now devoting 100 percent of incoming donations to the support of veterans, military, reservists, and military families in need.” In 2019 NEOPAT provided over $100,000 in direct assistance to local military families but the surge in requests has increased greatly in recent weeks.
DeChant noted one of the most impacted groups are Reservists and National Guard families. “These front-line warriors in the COVID-19 battle have been using their military pay to supplement incomes now impacted by COVID-19 related layoffs and school closures (where student Reservists held part-time campus jobs). At this time not all have been recalled to Active Duty. This means they are without job income and military income. Ohio currently has recalled some 500 National Guard members to temporary duty in support of area food bank distributions and other support needs for community organizations.
“Any donation to NEOPAT makes a difference; make no doubt about that,” said DeChant. “Your support in the community is appreciated not only by our organization, but by past and present members of the U.S. Military, their family members, friends, and loved ones.”