All too often, veterans and their families in WNY are living paycheck to paycheck, just getting by on disability benefits, which barely cover the necessities of life, if they are lucky.
Children in these families often must forego the educational, healthy, and fun extracurricular activities and enrichment programs that are available to their friends and classmates – simply based on their parents’ inability to pay. Classes, lessons, equipment & uniforms are sometimes just too costly to fit into a military family’s budget. In 2011,
WNY Heroes, Inc. introduced, Little Heroes
We have expanded our current Program services to include grants for children of military.
Currently our program offers veterans family members a grant in the amount of up to $250.00. This assistance can now be used to fund enrichment programs for Children of combat veterans or military personnel.
Here’s how the program will work:
Children aged 2 to 18, (toddlers to high school seniors) who reside in WNY with a parent who is a combat veteran or military spouse/widow/widower, will qualify.
Assistance will be allocated locally to fund activities and items such as:
- Operation Purple Camp (a summer camp experience for children of current military personnel and/or veterans) Sporting equipment or uniforms for elementary, middle or high school sports Musical instruments or uniforms for elementary, middle or high school orchestra/band Dance classes (at a recognized WNY dance academies, such as David DeMarie School of Dance, Sherry Martin School of Dance, etc.)
- Gymnastics classes (at a recognized WNY gymnastics center like Stumpfs, Flips, etc.)
- Tae Kwon Do (at a recognized martial arts facility, ie: Master Chong’s, etc)
- Rolly Pollies (gym, music and art classes for kids up to age 6)
- Music with Mar
Parents can register children for classes, extracurricular activities or other enrichment programs, and WNY Heroes will either:
Write a check directly to the organization to cover part or all of the qualifying tuition. (We will make a one-time payment on invoices from organizations such as Camp Pioneer, Rolly Pollies, Alessi Fitkids, Music with Mar, local dance/ gymnastics/martial arts schools)
Reimburse a parent who submits a current, original register receipt for sporting equipment or uniforms, musical instruments, etc. WNY Heroes will write a check for the exact amount paid for the items, if the receipt is for the current school semester. (Recognized commercial retailers/stores only – Dick’s Sporting Goods, Great Skate, etc.)
The Little Heroes program will not cover items such as the following: Medical/Dental/Orthodontic expenses Child Support Payments Private school tuition Travel expenses Entertainment or attractions such as amusement park tickets, concert tickets, sporting events, birthday parties, mini golf, video games, etc. Past enrichment programs or expenses (must be for current or future semester) All applicants to the program must
demonstrate need; fill out the requisite WNYHeroes grant application form and be approved by the WNY Heroes grant committee, just as any other applicant would.
Children of deployed soldiers make significant sacrifices when their parents bravely serve our country. When parents serve, their kids serve too.
Now, we’d like to help give a little back to them.
With help from the NFADA, we can.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
We look forward to working with you again!