In the final months of the year, HFMN would like to take a moment to reflect on the achievements, challenges and successes of 2021.
Similar but different to 2020, Home Front Military Network staff continued to work mostly from home—capitalizing on unique ways to stay engaged and reach our community and those in need.
Since March of 2020 we have seen a 300% increase in calls, many of which were COVID-19 related. While tackling issues like homelessness, loss of heat and power, mental health concerns, car repairs, domestic violence and so much more—the HFMN case managers took it all in stride and assisted more than 5,000 service members, veterans, and their families. They also helped provide more than $230,000 in emergency financial assistance—preventing more than 120 vulnerable veteran households from becoming homeless, without utilities or other basic necessities.
HFMN’s partner agency network also grew within 2021. A long-term goal of HFMN is to expand our services and reach outside of the Colorado Springs area—furthering our impact to all parts of Colorado. With the addition of Arapahoe County Veteran Services Office to our partner network, we are one step closer to fully achieving that long-term goal. We welcome and look forward to the collaboration with Arapahoe County VSO and will continue in our efforts to develop our partner agency network—providing greater access to services for those in need.
As a nonprofit, the good work HFMN does is funded through a myriad of different channels. One of the ways we help raise funds to keep our mission going, is through events. Not only do these events help us maintain our mission of assisting service members, veterans and their families, but they also provide us with invaluable outreach—getting us into the public eye so more people know about us, therefore know who to call when they need help.
In hopes to make up for the events that had to be cancelled in 2020, HFMN put together a total of seven fundraisers in 2021. Wanting to ensure the safety and health of our community, we created opportunities to give both online and in-person. For example, we held a video game tournament in March and Healthy Together Week in September (a four-day fundraiser with multiple events, i.e., a Pickleball Tournament, 5K Fun Run, and Yoga in the Park).
With great excitement we were able to hold the 5th Annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast in person, at The Broadmoor International Center. The Honoring the Brave Breakfast hosted an audience of nearly 700 community members/partner agencies and raised more than $119,000—exceeding HFMN’s goal of $100,000. The event also included welcoming remarks given by Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, words from Brandon Young a former U.S. Army ranger, and original musical performances by Army veteran Mark Addison Chandler.
At the breakfast, Home Front Military Network also presented the Joe Henjum “Honoring the Brave” Award and the Bob Carlone Community Service Award. Finalists for the Joe Henjum “Honoring the Brave” Award included Erin Fowler, Cathy Howell, and award recipient—Joe Lewis, Angels of America’s Fallen founder and CEO. Finalists for the Bob Carlone Community Service Award include Silver Key, Rocky Mountain Human Services, and award recipient—El Paso County Veteran Services Office.
HFMN is more than grateful for the inspiring team of staff, volunteers, committee/Board members and sponsors who made each event a success in 2021.
Home Front Military Network is an organization working to do good for our military and veteran families. However, our positive impact would not be possible without the individuals who make up HFMN. Our mission really is a team effort, and as a team, we look forward to 2022 and the unique opportunities and challenges that will come with it. Thank you for sticking with us this past year and being such valuable members of our network. Cheers and best wishes for 2022!