Supporting Veteran Focused Rebuilding Efforts in Florida
Through our NFL Salute to Service partnership, we’re helping Veterans of America Florida rebuild veteran housing
Florida has the third highest veteran population in the US, according to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Through the NFL-Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) Salute to Service partnership, BWF has developed impactful relationships with veteran serving organizations in the state. This includes grant recipient Volunteers of America of Florida (VOAFL). The organization provides safe and affordable housing for veterans and housing support services for their families and serves veterans across Florida.
Expediting funding to veterans during the pandemic
In the fall of 2021, BWF expedited a grant to VOAFL for Emergency Support for Vulnerable Veterans Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. To help them respond to COVID-19’s impacts, VOAFL emergency financial assistance, food, housing, and behavioral health services to over 700 veterans and their families. In May 2022 VOAFL hosted a food drive in Miami that provided shelf-stable foods through a partnership grant between the NFL and BWF.
Four months later, Hurricane Ian, the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida since 1935, swept through Florida. The storm made landfall on the west coast of Florida. Hurricane Ian destroyed businesses, devastated homes, displaced families, and rendered hospitals inoperable. In addition, thousands of veterans were left vulnerable.
Investing in rebuilding veteran housing
Ian also destroyed a VOAFL housing facility in Punta Gorda. As a result, veterans were again in desperate need. Our organization provided an NFL-BWF Hurricane Ian relief grant to VOAFL within one week of the Hurricane making landfall. With this investment, VOAFL is repairing its Punta Gorda housing facility. These repairs ensure the safety of their veteran residents. The VOAFL team is adding new roofing, overseeing structural repairs, repairing air conditioning, and removing fallen trees. The group is also providing emergency relief to military and veteran households impacted by Hurricane Ian.
“Thanks to this assistance, VOAFL veterans affected by Hurricane Ian can continue to focus on their life plans. They are able to stay the course to reach the goal of finding their forever home,” said Stephanie Vranich, Vice President of Development & Outreach at VOAFL. “Because of BWF, repairs are underway and should be completed in the next couple of months. Our veterans are appreciative of this help. They have said many times they are relieved to have a roof over their heads, full bellies, and the necessities they need to be successful in their VOAFL journey. BWF is not only a funder, but we consider them family.”
The Bob Woodruff Foundation is grateful to our partners at the NFL and VOAFL. We appreciate the their rapid response and action to help veterans recover in the wake of Hurricane Ian.