For Immediate Release

LEESBURG — United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties has been awarded a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

The funding will support UWLS’ Mission United veterans resources program, and is designated to provide emergency financial assistance to meet the urgent needs of veterans, service members, their families, and their caregivers in Lake and Sumter Counties.

“Thank you for helping us to serve the men and women that have given the most in serving our country,” said Thawanna Hurge, Community Impact Director and coodinator of the Mission United program for UWLS. “These funds will give us the opportunity to serve the needs of our veterans.”

The Bob Woodruff Foundation is very selective as to which organizations are awarded grants.

“(The foundation) takes pride in our partnerships, and we only fund programs that we believe will have meaningful outcomes on the lives of impacted service members, veterans, their families, and their caregivers,” said CEO Anne Marie Dougherty, in her award letter to UWLS. “Thank you for what you do each and every day in support of those we are all honored to serve.”

Mission United is dedicated to serve those who have served, and it also provides a personal touch that many of the Veterans Affairs options are simply unable to accommodate, often due to capacity.

More than 52,000 Veterans call Lake or Sumter Counties home. Whether they left the service years ago or are currently transitioning to civilian life, many struggle with the challenges of navigating a complex system of services and finding their place in the community.

Our Mission United program is a collective effort that identifies gaps and creates systemic change in the area of health care access, education, and stability assistance.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation was founded after the namesake journalist’s life was saved by U.S. military personnel when the armored vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq while he was reporting for “World News Tonight” on ABC in 2006.

Through partnerships nationwide, the foundation identifies and invests in programs and services that address the needs of service members, veterans, families, and caregivers in their communities.