This Duo Is Helping Heroes Fly and It Will Touch Your Soul
Perhaps one of our greatest failures as Americans is in taking care of those who serve and protect our country. So when people like this duo come along . . . it’s important to tell the world about them.
Pam Matt and Terri Keeney launched a 501(c)3 in February 2016 with the sole purpose of providing airfare to active duty enlisted military men and women. The idea is to help them afford to be with family for things such as funerals, weddings, the birth of a child or desperately needed rest and relaxation.
Pam has a son who is a Marine and knew full well how lousy their pay was . . . so when Terri approached her about starting the organization, she didn’t hesitate.
The truth is that many members of our military are paid at near poverty rates, and so a simple flight home to their families is often a luxury they can’t afford on their own. In the event of emergencies, the Red Cross will sometimes pay for the ticket – but what people don’t realize is that it’s a lone service persons have to start paying that back immediately.
To date, Pam and Terri have provided airfare for 109 men and women from four of the branches of service, from all parts of the world back home to the U.S. In 2016 they ended their inaugural year having provided flights for 65 troops – and every single one was funded by their donors.
The duo has pledged to donors that they will never use more than 10% of all proceeds for organizational expenses. In 2016, the number was a mere 3.5% and it was used for expenses associated with their first fundraiser such as brochures and signage. They’re on pace to match that in 2017 and do it in party by providing many of the operational needs such as postage, printer paper, etc. out of their own pockets.
Pam and Terri have a fundraising event coming up at The Hops Company in Connecticut, and are hoping other people and companies across the country are willing to either donate or to help put on other events to raise funds. But for those who don’t have cash to spare or time to put on an event…the ask from these ladies is incredibly simple – talk about them.
“We are a small, two-person organization ~ truly housewives and mothers who are just trying to help our beloved military men and women, and we struggle to get the word out to our military that we are here and we do want to help!” said Pam.
“We rely heavily on social media and have had a couple of interviews with our local Denver area news stations but our exposure is limited,” said Terri.
“We are anticipating a crazy-busy holiday this year, if last year is any gauge for that,” said Pam. “We can certainly use all of the funds that we can possibly bring in to get these troops home to their families for the holidays.”
If you are interested in hearing more about this fundraiser in your area or what they do at Helping Heroes Fly, you can visit www.helpingheroesfly.com or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You’ll see stories of some of the people who they helped and learn more about what they do and why they do it.
Kyle S. Reyes is co-host of The Whiskey Patriots and the Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can follow him on Facebook.
(Photo courtesy U.S. Army/Flicker)