Dear USO Community,
The last few weeks have tested us an organization. We have all faced various levels of uncertainty as we learn more about COVID-19 and its impact on our local communities and in some cases, our loved ones. Our thoughts are with those of you who have been impacted and wish you well as we continue to navigate the coming weeks together.
Our team has been monitoring daily reports from the CDC and other government resources. With staff and volunteers stationed all around the world in support of our service men and women, their safety and health remain our number one priority.
We have made several operational changes to adjust to the impact of the COVID pandemic on troops and families, as well as protect our USO team members, volunteers and staff:
- Among USO Centers remaining open on military bases, we are providing snacks, movies and youth activities that service members and military families can take to-go and enjoy in the safety of their own homes.
- We are supporting quarantined troops by sending Care Packages and USO2GO electronic kits that include TVs, gaming systems, etc. to keep them entertained and connected to their families, home and country.
- We are also adapting some traditional center programs for virtual delivery, including trivia nights, story time for families, the popular military spouse “Coffee Connections” networking events and “Discovering Your Spark” workshops.
Our USO teams across every region and around the world are in daily communications with local military installations and we are adjusting our operational stance to be in alignment with their needs. As new needs arise, we will anticipate and meet them. I’m extremely proud of our staff and volunteers who are adjusting to this radically changed work environment with innovative and impactful programming just where it is needed most.
In addition to modifying our programmatic and service delivery, we are also taking the time to enact prudent measures to mitigate the risks of transmission across our organization. All USO locations that remain open at this time are working hard to keep facilities sanitized and safe for our service members and their families. For those who are in office settings versus a mission-delivery location, teams are working remotely.
For over 79 years, the USO has always been by the side of our military, from peaceful times to heightened conflicts. Yet today, we are all navigating new territory with COVID-19. Nevertheless, our teams are developing and rapidly deploying alternative methods to deliver our best in class support, all while ensuring the health and safety of everyone. Every day provides a new set of unique challenges and we will persevere to find a way to be there for our Armed Forces.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support of our service men and women and their families. Most importantly, a tremendous thank you to our dedicated staff and volunteers who embody our mission every day. They are the heart and soul of the USO. And thanks also to your families. You all remain in our thoughts and prayers.
Stay safe and healthy! Together we will get through this and emerge stronger as individuals and as an organization.
CEO & President
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