Heroes on the Homefront: The Landings Military Family Relief Fund - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Heroes on the Homefront: The Landings Military Family Relief Fund

Jack Munroe was one of the founders of The Landings Military Family Relief Fund, which helps dependents of deployed soldiers who face financial difficulties. Jack Munroe was one of the founders of The Landings Military Family Relief Fund, which helps dependents of deployed soldiers who face financial difficulties.

SAVANNAH, GA-- The intentions of The Landings Military Family Relief Fund were spot on from its inception last January. The expectations, not quite.

"Our first goal was $40,000 and we met that in like two days actually,'' said Jack Munroe, one of founders of the fund. "So then I started raising the bar and it just worked out wonderfully.''

Munroe is still surprised by the speed at which the fund he helped start with a group of Red Cross volunteers from The Landings grew, raising $137,000 within six weeks of fliers first being circulated throughout the community with individual donations ranging from $25 to $25,000.

But he is even more struck by the organization's effectiveness in aiding the dependents of deployed soldiers in need of assistance.

"When a solider leaves, the spouse handles everything,'' says Munroe. "That's from all the bills paid, car accidents , all the things they've never dealt with. Eighteen percent of the troops at Hunter and Fort Stewart are 18 to 21-years-old. So, you can imagine, things go very badly with some young people.''

And The Landings Military Family Relief Fund helps deal with some of the most trying issues - the everyday emergencies that fall through the cracks of other military agencies.

The fund is administered by the Red Cross and thereby avoids administrative fees and distribute $100,000 of the money it takes in to people in need. It already has assisted more than 500 military family members through well over 100 individual claims in its first year.

"More than 60 percent of those requests have to do with basic maintenance expenses - rent, utilities, food, clothing, those sort of things,'' says Robin Wingate, CEO of the Savannah Red Cross. "We're averaging about a request a day now with soldiers or military wives who have a husband deployed and really help in circumstances when we know we're the last resort. and what a great feeling.''

Munroe is already feeling good about the future of the fund.

He says a second fund-raising campaign is scheduled to start March 1 and that they already have promises of more generosity from the community that responded so well last time.

"It's just a tribute to the people at The Landings responding to our neighbors, our soldiers and their dependents,'' he says. "We just love the military and it shows.''

 Reported by: Tim Guidera, tguidera@wtoc.com - Read more of Tim's stories here.

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