By providing support for the Coast Guard family we can provide a continuum of support across the board. While a Coast Guard member is deployed and fulfilling his or her duty, they are comforted and inspired by the care and appreciation paid to their families.
The Coast Guard Foundation supports military kids in a variety of ways, including funding playgrounds and parks, building community spaces, awarding college scholarships, and providing comfort and relief when the unthinkable happens, a parent dying in the line of duty.
Just last month, we dedicated a playground at a Coast Guard base in Portsmouth, Virginia. Over the years, the Foundation has built a number of playgrounds and recreation centers around the country from the Pacific Northwest to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. These locations give families safe places to play and form bonds with other Coast Guard families, and we are honored to support them.
In addition to playgrounds and parks, the Foundation has constructed community centers and swimming pools at a number of Coast Guard bases, including a training pool in Petaluma, California, and a recreation and activities center at Dauphin Island, Alabama, and one in Kodiak, Alaska.
The Foundation is currently running a capital campaign to build a community center in the remote area of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
"The Sault Ste. Marie community center will be a huge positive boost for the active duty members and dependents' overall well-being. Having this facility available for social functions, members' physical wellness and educational activities in addition to the close proximity to the Coast Guard housing will ensure its use." — USCG Lt. Commander stationed in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
Beyond these brick and mortar projects, the Foundation provides direct financial support, such as awarding college scholarships for the dependents of enlisted personnel. These students must demonstrate high moral character and meet rigorous academic standards. For the past 20 years, we've given out more than $2.4 million in scholarships, helping 250 students defray the costs of college.
One of the Foundation's most important roles is acting as a lifeline to families enduring unimaginable tragedy, losing a loved one in the line of duty. During these trying times, we offer comfort through our Family Disaster Relief Fund, and The Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund, which provides funding for the children of those who make the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
In Februaray 2012, sadly, we lost four airmen in a crash off of Mobile, Alabama, which left behind a number of children. The families can take a small bit of comfort in knowing that the Coast Guard Foundation will help them pay for college once they reach college age.