The American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance program has provided nearly $600,000 in grants to active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members with minor children in the home who missed a paycheck last week as a result of the current government shutdown.
As thousands of TFA requests have come in to National Headquarters from Coast Guard families, and more arrive daily as the shutdown continues, additional funds are needed now to continue providing help.
Meagen Sweet, TFA program director, shared with WISH-TV of Indianapolis how The American Legion has been supporting Coast Guard members with minor children in the home through Legion TFA grants, which are made possible through donations to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation.
"We get 'thank yous' every day," Sweet told WISH-TV. The letters say "it helps put gas in the car because they're still having to go to work and their kids don't have groceries right now. So, it helps them a lot."
Donations to The American Legion Veterans and Children Foundation are tax deductible and can be made online here. Donations to the foundation will provide American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance during this crisis and the next.
Retired Coast Guard Vice Adm. Terry Cross told WISH-TV that the typical Coast Guard third class petty officer earns a base pay of about $600 per week. "When they miss a paycheck, it's a big deal," Cross told WISH-TV. "If they miss two paychecks, it could be a disaster for a family in terms of rent payment, mortgage payments, just putting food on the table."
TFA provides one-time grants of up to $1,500 that are made available to eligible active-duty military and American Legion members in need, who have minor children in the home, to help to meet the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses to keep their children in a stable environment during a time of hardship. American Legion National Headquarters has authorized the use of an abbreviated TFA application for use with active duty Coast Guard members only with minor children in the home, and only for the duration of the current government shutdown.
To request TFA support, please click here.