An anonymous donor gifted an undisclosed sum to nonprofit organization Soldiers’ Angels to help Tampa Bay area military and veteran families this holiday season.

Soldiers Angels’ is a national nonprofit with the mission “to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families,” states the organization’s website. The nonprofit was founded in 2003 by members of General George Patten’s family, WFLA reports.

During the holiday season, Soldiers’ Angels Adopt-A-Family program “helps businesses, organizations, and individuals support qualified military and veteran families that could use some help providing a holiday celebration for their families.”

At a minimum, families will receive gifts for each child and a grocery gift card to assist families with purchasing a holiday meal.

An anonymous donor provided the organization with an undisclosed amount of money to benefit military and veteran families in specific markets, including Tampa Bay, according to WFLA.

President and CEO of Soldiers’ Angels Amy Palmer told the outlet that the area is getting a lot of assistance this holiday season.

“Initially, we had an anonymous donation that wanted to target specific markets. Tampa was one of those markets,” she said. “But since then, we’ve had other donors [in] Tampa, specifically, I think because of the outreach in Tampa [and those] that have come forward and wanted to support Tampa.”

Palmer, who is an Air Force veteran, added:

It’s a great opportunity for a small business or a church or a civic group to adopt a family, because they can work together to to take a local family. We have a lot of small businesses that will take one family or two families, and then they’ll each bring things together to support that family, which is really great. It’s a great opportunity to serve.

Though the program is meant to be supplemental, Palmer acknowledged that the Adopt-A-Family might be all that some have this holiday season.

“Sadly, in some cases, it may be their only holiday meal,” she told WFLA. “We’ve actually had some people that have registered, for the gift items for their kids, that listed undergarments and pajamas and kind of essential things, versus toys, because the kids need those items.”

The organization welcomes more sponsors, and donors can pick and choose what market they wish to participate in:

They can go and search by zip code and find local families or even national families… We have people who adopt families from all over the country. They don’t necessarily have to be in that local market, so we do still encourage people to to go to our website if they’re interested in adopt a family.

Qualified families can apply for the program until the December 10 registration deadline.
Eligibility includes:
  • To be eligible for this program as a family of a deployed service member, the service member must be:
    • Registered currently with Soldiers’ Angels for Deployed Support
    • E1 through E6
    • Not scheduled to return from deployment prior to December 25, 2021
    • Demonstrate financial need
  • To be eligible for this program as a family of a Post 9-11 wounded, ill, or injured service member or veteran, the service member or veteran must have:
    • Proof of wound, illness, or injury
    • Demonstrate financial need
  • To be eligible for this program as a family enrolled in the HUD/VASH program, the veteran family must be:
    • Enrolled in the HUD/VASH program
    • Complete a letter of eligibility with your HUD/VASH caseworker that will validate eligibility and demonstrate financial need

The organization assisted roughly 1,500 families in 2020, and it hopes to reach around 1,700 families in 2021, according to WFLA.