SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — It's that special time of the year when everyone is getting ready to gather with their family and friends and the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, along with the support of the amazing community, is raising funds to fly our ill and injured troops home for the holidays!
News 8 sat down for a one-on-one with Sandy Lehmkuhler, the CEO and founder of the organization, to talk about their 2021 Give-a-thon on November 19 and why it's so important for the warriors to be able to go home and spend this time with their loved ones.
“It's a huge give-a-thon and what we’re hoping to do is give each and every one of our ill and injured warriors a very special gift -- flight home. We explain to them that they’re going to wake up in their own bed, in their own state, with their own family for Christmas morning,” Sandy said.
Sandy said it’s been her honor to be the head of the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station.
“We started back in 2004, right there at your studio, and we have been a part of the community forever and ever. Without the community of Channel 8 and TEGNA, our guys would not have the quality of life that they do have,” Sandy said.
Sandy said everybody that gives to the November 19 Give-a-Thon touches the whole country.
“We have warriors that have been up there for two years recovering and those warriors aren’t able to go home because many of them can’t afford it, so for many, this will be the first time that they get to go home,” she said
Sandy said the funds that come in are used specifically for the warriors.
“If a warrior is told by their doctors that they can’t go home, we are going to bring a family member into the San Diego area so that they can be with them,” she said. “We will be good stewards with your dollars, and they will go directly to our warriors.”
About Warrior Foundation Freedom Station
The foundation provides ill and injured warriors with quality-of-life items, support services and transitional housing designed to assist them and their families during recovery.
Warrior Foundation Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors:
- The seriously injured returning home from war with immediate medical and emotional needs;
- Those suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Physical and occupational therapy patients who are recovering and/or receiving medical care at military medical facilities;
- Transitioning warriors who are medically retiring and transitioning to civilian life.
PHOTOS: Warrior Foundation Freedom Stations I & II
Warrior Foundation Freedom Station is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We proudly hold Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating, the highest possible rating, demonstrating our adherence to sector best practices and commitment to transparency. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Warrior Foundation Freedom Station outperforms most other charities in America in our cause area.
The 2021 Give-a-Thon will be held on Nov. 19, 2021 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help send our heroes home for the holidays. Last year's give-a-thon raise more than $1.5 million.
PHOTOS: Warrior Foundation Freedom Station events
WATCH: 2020 Give-a-thon coverage