Swing For Our Heroes

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Omni la costa resort

Dedicated to supporting the young, struggling military families in our community, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) will be holding its Eighth Annual Swing For Our Heroes Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, August 23rd, at the beautiful Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s golf course in Carlsbad.

 

STEP’s Swing For Our Heroes tournament attracts members of the community who are committed to supporting military families at home and those separated by deployment as they face challenges both financially and in retaining the family bond. Through this event last year, STEP raised over $90,000 in revenue. Swing For Our Heroes Golf Tournament Chair, Greg Jackey, shared with GB Magazine “The yearly STEP Golf Tournament gives us a chance to showcase a charity that does so much for our men and women in uniform. They should not have to worry about their family’s welfare while doing all they can to protect our great country.”

STEP has just completed its 11th year serving young military and Veteran families. Founded by Veterans who wanted more for families than a band-aid approach that would take them from one crisis to the next, STEP provides military families and recently discharged Veterans facing financial crises with one-on-one financial counseling, education, and emergency funds, in combination with basic needs such as food, diapers, hygiene items, and clothes.

Food insecurity, housing instability, and mental health challenges are common issues among enlisted service members and Veterans. These issues create increased stress and anxiety, piled in addition to their highly demanding and dangerous careers. Military families face unique challenges including frequent moves, living far from family and support systems, and the absence of one parent or partner due to deployments.

The enlisted service members and Veterans served by STEP earn a low income. According to Blue Star Families, 20% of military spouses are unemployed and 67% are underemployed due to the challenges of military life, unwillingness of employers to hire military spouses, and the high cost of childcare. All these challenges are heightened by the fact that San Diego is a very expensive place to live.

STEP’s team of professional social workers are highly trained; they are military-affiliated and understand the nuances young service members and families face. As Certified Personal Financial Counselors, they focus on developing a personal financial plan with each individual and family based on their own particular situation and personal goals and come alongside them as they work towards meeting their goals and improving their financial well-being.

As a nonprofit, community-funded agency, STEP has positively touched nearly 300,000 military lives and boasts a 90% success rate at permanently changing financial behaviors over the 8,000 families served through its Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) Program. The organization’s future 10-year strategy is to expand beyond Southern California and Washington State to serve more families across the United States.

All proceeds from STEP’s Swing For Our Heroes golf tournament support the organization’s programs aimed at improving the lives of military and Veteran families. Sponsorship opportunities and individual golf tickets are available, for more information visit www.teamstepusa/swingforourheroes.org.

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Esteban Villanueva
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