Independence Fund expands program with gift cards for Veterans


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Pivot. Adapt. Teamwork. Resilient. 

These are words that The Independence Fund is familiar with while working in the Veteran Service Organization world. But these are also words that have defined how our organization has dramatically shifted its operations to ensure we are meeting the immediate needs of our Nation’s most catastrophically wounded Veterans, their Caregivers, and their families during this new normal. 

Independence@Home

Pivot. Following the emergent needs we were seeing from our homebound Veterans that were especially hard-hit with isolation, we shifted our entire organization’s structure with our newest program, Independence@Home. We are assisting the hardest hit Veteran families with emergent costs like rent, utilities, childcare, transportation services, home WiFi, household cleaning and grocery and medical product delivery. Because of the demand we’ve seen for this program, we are expanding the program to beyond our participant database. We are now assisting additional Veterans with special circumstances with $100 gift cards to alleviate their financial struggles while expanding online resources. 

Adapt. Since our adaptive athletes can no longer participate in group sports, we are partnering our adaptive athlete Veterans with retired athletes for 1-on-1 virtual workouts and consultations. We continue to look at new ways to restructure our existing programs. 

Teamwork. The Independence Fund has expanded its mission of connectivity during isolation. Our in-person Operation RESILIENCY retreats reunite company-sized units that suffered high combat casualties and are susceptible to high Veteran Suicide rates. Because we cannot meet inperson, we are now hosting ongoing Zoom reunions with alumni. During virtual events with entire companies, we are providing updates on our organization, hearing from higher level leadership and licensed clinical social workers, and connecting our caseworker for individual issues. We are then providing smaller groups from those entire companies the resources to run their own, individualized reunions.  

We polled our Caregivers to see what resources they needed right now to provide relief and respite. In additional to virtual “happy hour” chats, we have hosted an intro to photography course and are conducting online tutorials twice a week. Subjects will include makeup tips, how to sew face masks, and an introduction to belly dancing. We will also be providing job training seminars, including resume writing and how to navigate LinkedIn. 

Independence Fund #RAH campaign asks Veterans and their families to share their coping tactics.

Independence Fund #RAH campaign asks Veterans and their families to share their coping tactics.

With the success of our Caregiver and OpRES webinars, we are expanding these virtual chats to our Family program, offering up assistance with tutoring and hosting family game nights. 

Resilient@Home

Resiliency. What The Independence Fund is most proud of is how we have shown how resilient our organization and its catastrophically wounded Veterans are. We launched RESILIENT@Home, a campaign where people can share their coping tactics on how they are staying resilient at home with the hash tag #RAH while highlighting the difficulties catastrophically wounded Veterans and their Caregivers are experiencing. We’ve loved seeing people coming up with creative ways to stay sane, from turning their homes into a 9-hole putt-putt course to reorganizing their garages. 

Together, we can all remain RESILIENT@Home as we navigate, adapt and pivot to these changing times. 

Apply at: https://www.independencefund.org/apply-for-assistance/ 

Click here to apply for card


Blog submitted as guest post by The Independence Fund. The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of the VA.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Sherri Mohebbi    

    For the Veterans in Montgomery County Regency Taxi likes to help with 100 Gift cards, or more if you like, $5 each that is good for a mile and half trip. These gift cards were very costly for us to make and we added $5 value on to each card, but each card can be reused for rides, and reloadable. Rides can be taken with Regency and Barwood taxi. (301)990-9000. How can we bring them to you, or mail them.

  2. SFC George T    

    As a fellow Veteran, I know your pain, deserved needs and wants. We have ALL earned them.
    As far as applying, near the bottom of most of the verbiage, there is a link and there is a button to click on, “CLICK HERE TO APPLY”

  3. Blake    

    The fact that all of you are veterans or caregivers of vets is sad. It is sad because 50+ people didn’t even read the article and posted comments on a US Govt website asking/begging/pleading for their gift card. If you would have read the article, you would know exactly who could get the gift card and how. But no, just post a question “how I get gift card?” and the rest of you are bitching about getting treated like shit by the VA – bitching to an un-monitored VA.gov message board nonetheless. Not your senator, representative, governor. Not to the VA regional office or AMVETS or the VFW- people and orgs that could actually help you. I want all of my fellow veterans to be treated with dignity and respect, to get what they earned in their service to this Country, but this is really, really sad.

    [Editor: Thank you for reading, Blake.]

  4. Dennis G gray    

    Where was all this help when I was homeless and suicidal?

  5. Jim Weaver    

    As I read this all I can Say is what a shame ! Our American VETERANS have to go without and all most beg for help. What a disgrace, what a Shame!

  6. Ralph Nardi    

    It wold be ice to rciece a gift card to help pay for groceries.

  7. Paris a noel    

    How do I get my gift card

  8. Donald Doty    

    I do not want a credit card from any VA agency! All I want from the VA is to have someone revisit my claim for Agent Orange/herbicides illness’s. Appealing does not work! I have provided medical records from VA and civilian doctors, maps of areas where I worked and lived for a year. Areas at the end of runway and engine trim pad where the foliage was laying dead where I worked. Where I lived was 50 yards from the perimeter fence with dead foliage there. I have illnesses that are listed by the VA that have been caused by Agent Orange/herbicides. Diabetes Mellitus type 2, Ischemic heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, early-onset. Please give my credit card to a spouse of a veteran who gave it all so we can live free!.
    Note: I served two tours , 66-67 & 70-71 during my 30 year career.
    DJD

    [Editor: The aforementioned gift card is not a credit card, and it isn’t from VA. Secondly, one cannot file a claim for “AO” or “herbicides.” Those are not medical conditions, they are chemicals. You must file a claim for the medical conditions that were caused by exposure to those chemicals. If your condition is on the presumption list, and if you need assistance, we recommend the services of a qualified VSO.]

    1. Donald Doty    

      I’ve been working with 2 DAV representatives over the last ten years. One in SC and now in FL.
      So any way don’t forget the spouses who lost their love one who gave all so we can enjoy freedom.

      1. Morgan Lyles    

        Get an attorney to assist you. Unfortunately, my dad is having the same issue. We have entrusted the DAV with assisting us on his claim and have gotten nowhere for years.
        I understand what you’re saying. Your medical conditions were caused by the AO and/ or herbicides.
        Please don’t stop applying for your benefits!!

        Take care and God bless you.

  9. SGT. T.G Williams    

    To all my fellow Veterans…
    I have read all the replys and it is a disgrace that
    i have to hear all of you beg for food and a one time $100 gift card. This is not how Veterans should be treated.

    It is time for Americans to come together and do the right thing.
    We are at war with this government.
    they represent corporations and greed.
    Not Americans and lives.

  10. Ronald W. Eaton    

    How do I apply for the free gift card?

  11. Enoch William Whiteneck Kennett    

    I would love to apply! I have been sheltering in-place for 72 days with my partner/caregiver. $100 could really help in adding food to our weekly allotment. Foodbanks have been closed, or too difficult to get to. More info would be greatly appreciated for Vets and their families.

  12. BONITA BLAKE    

    There’s no link to apply for gift card

    1. James Brauer    

      There is a big CLICK HERE TO APPLY at the top of the article.

      [Editor: We added that, and we put it right under the original link.]

  13. fredy    

    once again late with this mail and there no way to get the gift card again that is all bs from the gov.

  14. Kellee Hill    

    I don’t see anybody’s questions being answered as to how you apply for the $100 gift card. Nothing on the website states where to find the application for this!

  15. David E Shively    

    The title for this is Gift cards for home bound veterans. Not gift cards for disable vets, I have been in for 30 years, 18 years active and 12 years NG, I am on my 11th deployment. I have been married for 2 years on June 3rd. I have been with my wife for 6 months of the 2 years. I am supposed to return home in the fall and I am looking forward to being with my wife again. I would like to do something special with a gift card like this but after reading the info above, this is for disable vets. Maybe you should pick your titles better.

    1. Just Saying    

      You been in for 30 years and you’re a SSG….O_o

    2. Mark Eric white    

      If you’re on deployment you’re making plenty of money to be able to “do something special” for your spouse. On my first deployment I was a PFC with a wife in college and two small children. I had enough money to pay all my bills while deployed plus spend $5,000 on my family for Christmas and came home with $28,000 in m bank account. Sounds like you’re full of sht or you’re a shtbag or most likely you’re both.

  16. Benjamin Xiong    

    Here’s the website to Independence Fund if you need assistance: https://www.independencefund.org/apply-for-assistance/

  17. Travis Lewin    

    Yes clicked on the website what a joke!!!!

  18. james h. culver III    

    falling farther behind on everything from day to day

  19. SOFIA    

    How do I apply for gift card? Thank you

  20. Miguel Angel Navarro    

    How would I apply for the gift card?

  21. Zachary Barnes    

    Hello was tring to apply for help/ gift card assistance I live in the portland area,. With my wife and 4 kids,.
    I have a hard time leaving the house,. So the stress is all on my family so it’s been very hard,. Your assistants is greatly appreciated

  22. Michael Lambert    

    I am a disabled veteran. I lost my family and everything else several years ago. I am homeless but fortunately I have been able to stay at my sister’s for a little while. I don’t get any other help other than 1 room to stay in. I have been fighting with the VA on my disabilities and have been struggling for almost 4 years on my own. There are many days that I do not get to eat because of the waiting for the VA to do what is right. I know that there are other veterans that deserve more help than others, but I have fought and lost everything. I have been barely surviving and I am at the end of my rope.

  23. Pamela proctor-davis    

    Can not apply for gift card anywhere on the site

  24. George Langbein    

    How do I contribute to this Independence Fund?
    I have the resources and want to help my fellow
    Vets who are in need. Thanks,

    1. SGM J. Sanchez-Lopez    

      Dear SM Langbein
      Straight to the point, How do I contribute to this Independence Fund? I have the resources and want to help my fellow. Vets who are in need.
      GOD bless and multiply many times over your resources because of you good will and intentions. Here is a SM embodying the ARMY values; LOYALTY-DUTY-RESPECT-SELFLESS SERVICE-HONOR-INTEGRITY-PERSONAL COURAGE.
      Thank you for your service.
      SGM J Sanchez-Lopez (Ret)

    2. L F    

      The best that you can do is go to your highways and byways right there where you live. find veterans and to help them, give them food, give them a coat, find out resources in your area and give them the name, phone number and address so then it will be up to them to use it. These organizations, I don’t trust them. Go straight to the source, to your veterans the homeless in your area the ones at the end of your street struggling to pay their bills. straight to them.
      Thanks for considering my answer to you.
      NAVY vet.

  25. Jeffrey Foundas    

    No mention of how to get gift card.

  26. Leona Jackson    

    How do I apply for the gift card?

  27. Dawn Woodworth    

    How do I apply for the $100 gift card?

  28. Ielino Esau    

    Applying for the gift card please

  29. Takesha C    

    You have to click on the link to apply. Either you need to log in or create an account by clicking the 3 bars in the upper right of the link below. After you complete registration you should be able to apply.

    https://myindy.independencefund.org/index.php/sessions/login

  30. WARREN BARBER    

    That’s crazy no information to give us help! With the food or gift card.

  31. Randall Vincent Elekes    

    You want me to beg for a gift? AHHHHH just keep it!

  32. Randall Vincent Elekes    

    How do I apply for a gift card? I wish to purchase protective masks.

  33. A. Smith    

    I started the application and in the process of uploading my documents, the site kicked me out. There is not even a way to log in. I don’t think they actually donate any of the gifts they receive. Their website asks for monthly donations, but no clear way for Veterans to log in or clearly apply.
    The VA should not endorse this type of scam.

  34. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

    For all asking how to apply: Applications can be submitted at https://myindy.independencefund.org

    Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility! We are also continuing to work diligently to secure additional funding to expand the program.

  35. Earl Ford    

    How does one apply for the gift card?

  36. Terry Hargrove    

    The link to apply does not work. Also there’s no option for the 100.00 gift card

  37. Jacqueline Curtis    

    How do I apply for the $100 gift card need help with bills

  38. Rob Bell    

    Not sure why the $100 gift card bone is dangled before us when apparently then has been no thought as to how to apply. Better to say nothing than give any sort of false hope.

  39. Richard E. Goldsberry    

    Navy Aviation Ordnanceman. Manually hung hundreds of bombs during the Vietnam War. Both knees plus both shoulders in constant pain. Any assistance would be welcome.

    1. Larry M. Wilkinson    

      Have you filed for disability compensation? If what you’re suffering from is service related (and I’m assuming that it is from your comments.), and you haven’t done so, contact a VSO (Veterans Service Organization) such as the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), American Legion, etc., and file a disability claim through them. They can obtain your service records, especially your service medical records. There has to be proof that loading those bombs caused your physical ailments. Any outside medical contact that you had related to your ailments (doctor’s visits, outpatient clinic’s, ER visits, medical treatments, medications prescribed related to your injuries, et.al) should be noted as well. Generally speaking, there must be evidence that you were seen by medical personnel In relation to your injuries within one year from your date of discharge. The longer you wait, the tougher it becomes (if there’s a lack of medical evidence). Hope this helped you. I’m a 100% service-connected disabled veteran (Vietnam), and the DAV helped me navigate the VA jungle. Good luck, and I wish you well.

  40. Richard E. Goldsberry    

    I’m a Navy Vietnam disabled Vet. How do I apply for the assistance?

  41. Daniel Barrier    

    need accass to funds in bank !!!

  42. John Acosta    

    How do I apply for the gift card?

  43. Maria garcia    

    How do I apply for gift card. I live in the island of Puerto Rico US territory. Thank you.

    1. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

      For all asking how to apply: Applications can be submitted at https://myindy.independencefund.org

      Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility! We are also continuing to work diligently to secure additional funding to expand the program.

  44. DENNIS BRODBECK    

    IT APPEARS THERE IS NO WAY TO APPLY FOR THE GIFT CARD. CHECKING IN ON THE WEB SITE LISTED, THE ONLY BENEFIT AVAILABLE IS THE APPLICATION FOR WHEEL CHAIR ASSISTANCE AND NOTHING ELSE. NO MENTION OF A GIFT CARD FOR $100. THIS NEEDS A LOT OF CLARIFICATION!

    1. Jon Ganues    

      Agreed, no mention of how to apply for the gift card.

    2. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

      For all asking how to apply: Applications can be submitted at https://myindy.independencefund.org

      Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility! We are also continuing to work diligently to secure additional funding to expand the program.

    3. Casshandra Samuel    

      Yes…the government is good at producing smoking mirrors.

  45. Patrick Gray Sr    

    How do I apply for these benefits?

    1. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

      For all asking how to apply: Applications can be submitted at https://myindy.independencefund.org

      Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility! We are also continuing to work diligently to secure additional funding to expand the program.

  46. Evang Jordan    

    I love you! My brother Alvin was 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles) in Vietnam! When he came home in 1972 he was wild! In 1986 he had a heart attack and was DOA at Mount Diablo Hospital in California! The excellent surgeons performed quadruple bi_pass surgery and Al says they gave him a “jump start!” He received JESUS on the recovery room table and became a Chaplain for the Illinois State Prison System! HALLELUJAH!

    1. Manuel Roman    

      How do I applied I’m a injured vet from Iraq I live in Puerto Rico how could I get the help

  47. Kimberly Robinson    

    Good afternoon,

    How do you apply for a gift card. I have used all my limited funds on bills. I would like to be able to contribute $100 towards groceries

    1. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

      For all asking how to apply: Applications can be submitted at https://myindy.independencefund.org

      Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility! We are also continuing to work diligently to secure additional funding to expand the program.

  48. James Ray griffin    

    How do you get the gift card?

  49. Sarah Reidy-Jones    

    Applications can be submitted at https://www.independencefund.org/apply-for-assistance/. Please note that applications do not guarantee acceptance into the program and we may require follow up to determine eligibility!

  50. Mark Martin    

    I am a disabled veteran in need of rent and utilities assistance!!!

    1. Mark Martin    

      How do i apply for these benefits?? Please and thank you

    2. steve thoma    

      Try an Organization called Independencefund.org.. American Legion …DAV or Wounded Warrior Project all an provide assistance

  51. Charles Michael Egresitz    

    How much is the VA home caregiver stipend?

  52. Gregory OHara    

    How do I apply for this gift card. I’m struggling to make ends meet.

    1. steve thomas    

      Use Link above .. Independencefund.org

    2. Sheila Bradley    

      How do we apply for assistance

  53. Daniel Barker    

    Does your organization know that the VA is reducing the hours of home assistance a Veteran can receive from a maximum of 10 hours per week to 6 hours per week.
    I received a letter from the New Orleans VA outlining the cuts are coming
    I called the VA and they promised to get back to me on when this will start. Nothing yet. But has only been one day.
    So frustrated with this. I receive 6 hours per week and was hoping to get 10.
    Daniel Barker, proud Vietnam Veteran

    1. Andrea Stryker    

      Mr. Baker,
      I really understand were you are coming from. I want to say Thank You for your service, my father is a Vietnam veteran also and he is total house bound care and he get NO HOME HEALTH AIDE the only care he gets is from me and I do everything for him. That includes fixing meals, to bathing and everything else. I have over 30 + years in the medical field so I even set his medications up for him. my husband is serving in Iraq right now. I get NOTHING for taking care of my father. so the v.a. needs to step up and take care of the vets like they should.
      proud daughter of a Vietnam veteran

  54. David Combs    

    What about getting us to Palo Alto my local Veterans Hospital to gat a heart procedure done because there are no shuttles running. This could be life or death. How do i contact this group i need help too.

    1. Edward Gorecki    

      Dave Combs Check for a Disabled American Veteran chapter in your area. There is one near me in Utica, NY and I know that they do rides in the area. Ed USARet.

  55. Charles Hooper    

    How do i apply for this benefit?

  56. George A Allen    

    How do you apply for a gift card. My family is using all of their money on bills. I would like to be able to contribute $100 towards groceries.

  57. Troy A Frederick    

    How do you apply for the gift card

    1. Namon Gilbert    

      How,do you,get access,to the vet program?

    2. Glenn Daniel McLean    

      How do i apply for the gift card. Me and my fiancee were just put into a hotel after being homeless and on the streets. Now we still struggle from day to day but are so very thankful for the blessings in the vetrans home program.

  58. Rex Adkins    

    +Thanks for what you do!!!!!

  59. Philip S Pennisi    

    How would I apply for this benefit?

  60. Paula Minger    

    The Independence Fund supports all Veterans which is so unusual these days. It’s our wounded WWII KOREAN and Vietnam desperate for help.

    They have the most Vets home bound and still don’t receive EQUAL VA Home Caregiver stipend we provided young vets claiming PTSD (no rating needed)

    This is great!

    1. The grumpy Med.Retiree    

      Why are you trolling on this site? The “Largest” amount of Service Connected Home-Bound are under 44yrs old..
      What Have All these past Vet-Generations been doing over the Last 40 to 75yrs?? If they were Home Bound way back then, from a Service Connected Disability, then they Still have it today. At least those whom are still able to be with us today.. Qualified veterans have/are receiving care for their Service Connected issues. However, you sound silly asking for the Same Services provided to today’s Generation (NOT PTSD) for their “Service Related disabilities”… Being an elderly person has Nothing to do with the VA.. Old Age isn’t “SERVICE Connected”.:.
      If you actually Really served you should know this, especially since you have had OVER 40yrs to work on your “Claims”..

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