Fort Belvoir military spouses support Coast Guard families with grocery, gas cards

Kaylah Jackson
January 17, 2019 - 2:04 pm

( U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi)

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When Alyssa Densham heard about Coast Guard members struggling to put money together to feed their families, she sprang into action.

“This is in our wheelhouse. This is what we do,” said Densham.

As the president of the Enlisted Spouses Club on Fort Belvoir, she along with a team of other spouses, plans activities and holds events for local military families.

With the government shutdown on its 27th day, Densham kept hearing stories of Coast Guard families who were pleading with car companies about their payments and even hunting for food.

"I’ve heard of a family canceling doctors appointments for their special needs son because they can’t afford the deductible…because they need to be able to have food to eat,” said Densham.

As a temporary fix, the club is offering grocery and gas cards to offset many Coast Guard families in the National Capital region living without a recent paycheck.

When the club first put out a call asking for members to apply for the cards, one family responded. Almost overnight, the list grew from one to 20.

“Many of them are scrimping together money to be able to fill the service member's gas tank so he or she can drive to work, where they’re not gonna get paid,” said Densham.

The Fort Belvoir Enlisted Spouses Club is no stranger to supporting the military. As a registered non-profit, they frequently provide welfare grants and educational scholarships to families. Since the beginning of the shutdown, they’ve been directing individuals to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, but because of the vetting process to apply for help, receiving the funds could take time.

Currently, the club has enough funds to meet all the needs of people on their list but that's only for this week. Densham says, “the need is not just now and it’s not gonna be just once…what do they do next week?”

If you're interested in donating, you can PayPal your donation to treasurer@belvoiresc.org.

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