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To help children of our fallen military and first responders develop into strong and successful adults by providing them positive mentoring and developmental activities when they are at their most crucial developmental phase of life.
Angels of America's Fallen was formed in 2012 and recognized as a 501(c)(3) in early 2013. Founded by a military retiree with service in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, the organization was formed to address a critical gap in support provided to children of our fallen heroes. With over 16,000 children of our fallen since 9-11-01 and their average being just seven years old at the time of loss, there was no program focused on long term development of the children from very young ages up through adulthood. With participation from board members representing each branch of the military and many volunteers, we have stepped in to fill this gap. Since formation, we have served children in 29 states and have seen increasing demand and support for the services we provide.
AOAFallen covers the cost of the children’s participation in healthy developmental activities including sports, music, art, and technology. Activities supported included adult coaches or instructors who can provide mentoring for the children as they pursue their interest. We empower the child to find their particular stress relief and passion. Our simple guideline is for the activity to have an adult coach or instructor and be healthy or developmental in nature. The cost of registration, supplies, or equipment required for participation is provided. We make a commitment to cover this and stand by the child from the time of loss all the way up until the age of eighteen. Once the child has found their healing outlet, we don’t cut them off and tell them "good luck in the future".
AOAFallen is inclusive and comprehensive. The children whose parent dies in combat normally qualify for initial grief camps and scholarships, but don't receive long term support during the crucial developmental years in the middle. The children who lose their parent to training accidents, illness, and invisible wounds at home are told they don’t qualify by almost all of those programs, and many receive nothing. With AOAFallen, things are different, we value every fallen hero volunteer just as much, regardless of how the blank check they wrote was cashed. We know for each child, the untimely death of mom or dad is a devastating loss of their biggest mentor regardless of the cause. Because of this, we say "Yes" to children of our fallen regardless of the cause of their parent’s death. We believe it’s just the right thing to do.
- Joe Lewis
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