The Army of Hope is a program of the Florida State Elks Association established in 2007. Its mission is to provide aid assistance to the families of deceased, disabled, and deployed members of the military.
The families of Florida active duty military personnel, military reservists, Coast Guard, the National Guard, and/or their dependents are eligible. An active duty member stationed in Florida with his/her dependents would qualify as a Florida resident.
Since its inception, the Army of Hope has raised $242,784 for families of deployed military members. The help you give through the Florida Army of Hope allows the military member to safely concentrate on his/her duties without worrying about the family at home. The Army of Hope also assists returning veterans with costs to re-establish their civilian life after deployment.
Examples of aid assistance include:
- School lunches
- Medical and dental emergencies not covered by insurance
- Minor home repairs (plumbing, painting, etc.)
- Auto repairs or transportation when needed
- Full-time or back-up babysitting
- Phone cards to contact loved ones
- Lawn mowing, landscaping, sprinkler repairs
- A/C and major appliance repairs
- Clothing, shoes
In 2009 the Army of Hope began bringing dependent children of deployed military personnel to our Florida Elks Youth Camp. It has been a great opportunity for the kids to relax with their peers and enjoy our great camp.
Individual aid requests may be made by submitting a completed Assistance Request Form to our Lodge and by contacting our Veterans Services Subcommitte Chairman, Tim Nightingale, here. The Lodge will review the request and submit it to the District Veterans’ Service Chairman. The District Chairman will then submit the request for final approval to the Army of Hope Committee.
The time to process an application for aid may take as long as four weeks. Emergency requests may be expedited at the request of a local Lodge.