Veterans experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to receive a hand up from Wounded Heroes following a $10,000 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.
The funding will contribute to Wounded Heroes’ emergency relief program which provides accommodation, food and mental health treatment for veterans and their families experiencing financial, personal, emotional, and mental difficulties.
Since March, Wounded Heroes’ budget revenue has dropped by $188,000 because of the government’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Wounded Heroes Chief Executive Officer Martin Shaw said the grant would allow the organisation to meet the increasing demand for its services.
“Between January and March, we have provided assistance to 181 veterans and their families – a 250 per cent increase from the same period last year,” Mr Shaw said.
Camp Hill Freemasons Lodge representative John Arnold said it now was more important than ever for services like Wounded Heroes to be able to operate in the community.
“We nominated Wounded Heroes for the grant because many veterans and their families are already at a higher risk of becoming homeless,” Mr Arnold said.
“It is important that those who have fought for our country do not slip through the cracks and can continue to receive support.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.
“Wounded Heroes’ work is essential to our community. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support at a time when they need it most.”