USO Northwest's Helping Hands Program is a very unique program. In fact, USO Northwest is the only USO in the world to offer it! USO-NW established the Helping Hands Program to help bridge the critial and growing gap in the funds available to our military and their families to provide much needed unit and morale building activities. Compounding the problem is the explicit regulation prohibiting our military from fundraising or soliciting support.
USO Northwest recognized a critical need for our military and responded. Our Helping Hands Program was established to help provide our military and their families stationed in the Pacific Northwest with the opportunity to spend valuable time together with their families as a unit. Welcome home celebrations, pre-deployment parties, family day picnics and tickets to a ballgame are just a few examples of the family-focused activities that our Helping Hands makes possible. When traditional funding sources are not available or insufficient to cover the entire cost of the unit's activity or event, the Helping Hands Program provides small grant awards to help offset the cost of the activity.
Helping Hands Funds requests are reviewed individually and decided on a case-by-case basis. Use of the funds are usually not approved for Thanksgiving and Christmas “dinners” as dinners for same are provided at the military bases; however, they can be used for holiday parties. In addition Helping Hands Funds cannot be used for Change of Command Functions.
Our Helping Hands Program is supported by the generous contributions made to the USO Northwest through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). 100% of the donations that we receive through the CFC goes directly to support our military and their families through our Helping Hands Program. As our militay's need continues to grow, we look for additional funding opportunities for this program. Most recently, AT&T provided the USO Northwest a generous grant of $5,000 in support of the Helping Hands Program.
Last year, USONW's Helping Hands Program served over 89,000 local military and their families through welcome home celebrations, pre-deployment parties, family day picnics, tickets to a ballgame and many more family-focused events. The Pacific Northwest is home to each branch of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard -- and where the miltary serves -- so does the USO!
To review the program guidelines or submit a Helping Hands Program request for consideration by our Programs Committee, click on the following: