Foundation Lends Helping Hand to Wounded

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2007 - In the month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mike Talleda was searching for a way to help the country and motivate others to do the same.

His answer was the "9-11 HelpAmerica Foundation."

"The 9-11 HelpAmerica Foundation's mission is to recognize and support the families of ... fallen and wounded warriors," Talleda, the foundation's president, said. "(It's) huge for families to know that people have not forgotten their sacrifice."

For the past six years, the foundation has focused on providing monthly financial support to wounded servicemembers and families of the fallen. That support comes in the form of $200 a month for an 18-month period, Talleda said.

Volunteers of the California-based 9-11 HelpAmerica Foundation also have become much more involved in the lives of the nine families his group supports, he said. Visits with the troops and their families are regular occurrences, as are outings that bring families together.

"Our formula is great," Talleda said. "We just need to have more funds to add more guys to the list."

The group holds golf and poker tournaments and similar events to raise funds, he said. Grants or donations would be a new and welcomed source of much-needed funding, Talleda said.

The 9-11 HelpAmerica Foundation is one of the newest members of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

"We are hoping (joining) America Supports You may give us an opportunity to find people that like what we are doing and may be willing to help us," Talleda said.

"What we do is a lot of work, but it is also a labor of love," Talleda said.
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