I often say that Immediate Needs is the most important program that we manage that people know very little about. It is important because it assists our military families when they are at their most vulnerable and it is often through an immediate needs case that we are first introduced to a new family.
“Our Immediate Needs program works daily with wounded service members, their families and families of the fallen to meet immediate financial needs resulting from a service member’s combat related injury. Travel, lengthy hospital stays, loss of income and unexpected expenses create financial burdens for families during a vulnerable and uncertain time in their life. “
Why does no one know about it? Well, it is difficult to capture this program in a picture. How do you show a caregiver getting help at bedside, the lights being kept on, a family staying in their home, or food on the table?
In January alone, our Immediate Needs department worked on 88 specific Immediate Needs cases. To understand how much work this involves, I need to stress that it is not simply a program of hearing the problem and writing a check. As each case is opened, we connect with the service member’s command (if active duty), the VA caseworker and/or a medical professional. The goal is not to just write a check for a “quick fix.” That solves nothing and if a family cannot pay rent this month, and nothing changes, they will have the same problem next month. Each case requires us to delve into details of benefits, medical concerns and more. The goal is to assist the family in the short-term while still looking to the future.
I am very proud of our Immediate Needs Program and I wish that I could find a photo to represent what is accomplished. So instead, I have included a photo of just one military family, together and smiling. After all, isn’t that the real end result?