The MVRC Rapid Response Emergency Fund has been a small, but beneficial reserve of donated funds used to assist military and veteran families in crisis. The funds are used to prevent a family’s situation from worsening while they explore more long term resources for stabilization. For example, MVRC has paid for a month’s rent to prevent eviction, purchased gas cards so a veteran can continue to get to their job, paid for a certification exam and a welder’s helmet so veterans could get a job, paid past due bills to turn electric and water back on, especially for families with children, and other similar needs.
Thankfully with an improving economy, and possibly because there have been fewer deployments, there have been fewer requests for assistance. That is a bit of a relief for us because we never had enough in our fund to meet every request made in the past. We also have some new MVRC team members who have recently been doing a great job in raising more funds than we ever had in the past. So now it is becoming easier for us to meet the needs of families in crisis.
Even with fewer needs and more funds available, MVRC will still not fund every request made. There are several reasons that request for assistance can be denied. The most frequent reason for denial is our determination that the need is not a crisis situation and the family still has time to seek out other assistance. In those cases, we refer those families to our partners who can help.
We also refuse assistance when it is clear that a one-time crisis assistance will not meet the greater needs of the family or individual. Those families may find themselves in crisis again in the near future because they are not in a position to maintain stability without ongoing support. MVRC does provide contact information on potential agencies that can help them gain more long term stability. But in those cases, it is not an appropriate use of our funds to provide what will really be an insufficient response to the family’s greater needs.
Of course, we at times have received requests that seem to be made by non-military or veteran individuals. We ask several key questions that help us assess the genuineness of the need as well as the military or veteran status of the person. We always prefer that the family be vetted and referred through one of our partner agencies that has already verified legitimacy of the request. When we are contacted directly, we prefer to have a copy of the DD214 or other verification of veteran status.
We are very appreciative of our friends and partners who have donated to our emergency fund. It is MVRC’s responsibility to use those funds appropriately and reasonably and that does mean that at times we will say no.