Operation Military Embrace FAQ
The Parent organization, based in Tomball, Texas was founded by Jerry and Debbie Reed and Brenda Kaiser in 2005 and received its 501(c)(3) Exemption/Determination Letter from the IRS in 2007.
Yes. The OME IRS Exemption/Determination Letter and copies of all federal Form 990s filed with the IRS are on the website as are the annual Reports of Independent Auditor along with other financial information and organizational policies all of which can be viewed on our website at (www.operationmilitaryembrace.com).
No. OME is Non-Political and works hard to maintain this neutral image in the community. We work with many churches in our community, but none on an exclusive basis.
The By-Laws provide for contract compensation (non-benefits bearing) for only one position: that of the President/Executive Director who receives very nominal compensation.
Remembering Vietnam, “OME”, a Christ-centered organization, is dedicated to ensuring that OIF (Iraq), OEF (Afghanistan) and Operation New Dawn veterans and all who served during this period of war are not treated with hostility and disrespect as were those who served with honor and distinction in Vietnam. OME achieves this objective by working to increase public awareness regarding the challenges faced by America’s military and their families while providing direct support via the various OME programs.
Names / addresses of troops are obtained by direct referral ONLY. We do not trust websites. Family members, friends, Unit Commanders and Troops who have previously received care packages from the charity are our sources for this part of our overall mission.
Constant feedback is received from troops deployed. This input is used to create our list of Troop Needs / Wants. Specific needs of a unit or location are met whenever possible using their individual input, otherwise each care package is filled with a variety of items on hand at the time, coming from various local donation Hosts. The current list will have popular items highlighted in RED.
As often as we have a sufficient inventory of donated items. Ideally we like to have about 50 boxes to take to an Adopt-A-Box day. Smaller numbers of boxes are packed / shipped routinely throughout the year.
- 500+ Active on "Texas Volunteer" list
- 100's Referred / Forwarded by Texas Volunteers who routinely receive update e-Mails and / or visit the website or the OME Facebook page.
- Additional volunteers in various geographic regions across the United States.
Ask to be placed on list of "Texas Volunteers" (which is the list for those in our local area who want to volunteer) and you'll receive periodic e-Mail updates. Alternatively, go to Upcoming Events or visit our OME Facebook Page. You could also visit our Newsletter page if you want to receive our newsletters.
OME receives its funding from churches, civic organizations, federated campaigns such as the Combined Federal Campaign, the public and from foundations that support its four major missions (programs) as well as fundraisers such as 5ks, golf tournaments, long-distance hike sponsorships, event sponsorships and grants from other 501(c)(3) organizations.
No, OME does not apply for nor will OME accept any local, state or federal government grants as to do so results in burdensome reporting and a loss of control over the use of funds for purposes deemed best by the OME Board of Directors.
Yes, OME stands for audit by an Independent Auditor each year and the auditor issues a Report of Independent Auditor that is reviewed and approved by the OME Audit Committee and is then reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors.
Wounded/injured/ill veterans who meet the OME criteria receive financial assistance in accordance with the needs of the veteran and his/her family such support is limited to what is reasonable by determination of OME and the￼￼￼￼￼ availability of cash resources, and such support is provided on a first come/first serve basis.
Financial assistance is provided to qualified wounded/injured/ill Warriors who meet the OME criteria on a first come/first serve basis in the form of payments made to vendors, mortgage companies, insurance carriers, apartment complexes, utility service companies, phone carriers and, occasionally, a direct payment to a qualified veteran for groceries and family incidentals. Gift cards are also used in the Financial Assistance Program in lieu of cash payments by check.
OME does not provide any support to veterans groups as veterans groups are typically 501c19 or 501c4 organizations with greater latitude to do charitable good works than 501c3 organizations like OME, and they are supported by large populations of veterans who meet their membership criteria.
Financial assistance is the first priority as the injured Warrior community comes primarily from middle class and lower middle class families that do not have the financial resources to support a seriously injured Warrior. Disability payments from various sources are insufficient to properly support an injured Warrior and his/her family. The Financial Assistance Program gives qualified Warriors hope and helps them get through tough times, and it demonstrates to the injured Warrior community that Americans really care.
Second is the conduct of motivational programs for the injured Warrior community and their families to help them heal naturally without the intervention of professional counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists who have not walked in their shoes. The motivational programs are truly mental health programs that are tremendously therapeutic and provide the Warrior with the opportunity to regain his/her self-confidence and to learn that he/she can do everything that he/she did before the injuries, albeit, it may take a little more effort and some help from caring friends and patriots. Such motivational events are comprised of long-distance hiking, hunting, fishing and, lastly, group family outings that involve the injured Warrior and his/her entire family.
Third is the annual OME Christmas Free P-X (free store) at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) and the support of the Warrior Christmas Dinner and the children’s Christmas Party with Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus each December which enables OME officers, directors and volunteers to personally touch the lives of a very large population of America’s most seriously injured Warriors and their families. This program brings the love of Christ directly to the injured and ill Warrior community without proselytizing.
The OME Packages Program is very robust and targets large populations of deployed Warriors around the globe wherever America’s Warriors are deployed in harm’s way. This program demonstrates to the deployed Warrior community that they have not been forgotten. Additionally, this program affords the community with tremendous volunteer opportunities to personally connect with deployed Warriors.
An interested person, church, company, civic organization, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Eagle scouts or schools can run a drive for OME to secure the items needed to support the annual Christmas Free P-X and the Packages Program and/or volunteer for packing parties in support of the packages program. Volunteers can also travel to San Antonio to participate in one of the quarterly activities that OME engages in at SAMMC. Additionally, there are opportunities to assist OME in securing sponsors, donors and golfers for the various charity golf tournaments and other events that OME has scheduled as well as support for the annual Watermelon Run For The Fallen in Hempstead, Texas the third Saturday in August each year. There is also a section on the OME website called How To Help.
OME focuses its limited resources on Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation New Dawn (Iraq after 2010) veterans who meet the OME criteria for assistance, while the VFW Foundation, the DAV and other such veteran organizations and veteran services organizations provide assistance to veterans from prior conflicts.
OME enjoys a trusting, personal relationship with the injured Warrior community, and over the next five years OME will strive to maintain the interpersonal relationships that have been developed and that grow with each new Warrior and/or family supported by one of the OME injured Warrior programs. It is also hoped that the large community of deployed Warriors receiving gifts of care packages through OME will investigate OME and will then select OME as their preferred charity under the federated Combined Federal Campaign (CFC # 29629) to help fund OME support programs for their injured and deployed comrades. OME will remain flexible and will adapt to the changes in needs of injured and deployed Warriors as they occur.