SPRINGFIELD — Throughout the month of December, Freedom Credit Union will partner with its members and the local community to raise funds to benefit the Pioneer Valley USO. Freedom will match total donations made through Dec. 31 up to $2,500.
The mission of the USO (United Service Organizations) is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country throughout their service to our country. The Pioneer Valley USO, located at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, provides more than 102,000 pounds of food to more than 3,200 individuals annually through the Emergency Food Pantry, supports more than 600 families annually with holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sends more than 500 care packages to deployed military men and women around the world. Funded entirely by private donations, sponsorships, and grants, it supports both Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee and Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield.
Donations can be made to Freedom’s matching drive online at bit.ly/393WCzo.
“We wanted to do something to help care for those who sacrifice so much for our freedom,” Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch said. “The Pioneer Valley USO was set up in the 1940s to help local service families in need by serving meals and providing food through a pantry at Westover Air Reserve Base. With all the challenges this year, the organization has experienced a dip in donations, and we’d like to help fix this.”
Allan Tracy, executive director of the Pioneer Valley USO, added that, “during this holiday season, there are about 220,000 American men and women on active duty in 100 countries who will not be home for the holidays. We appreciate Freedom’s generosity in soliciting and matching donations to help relieve some of our service members’ stress by helping to ensure their families are cared for.”