By Deven King
How does the community help those that have helped give their all for them? Military Family Support Family (MFST) found a way to give back to the military and include the community in that endeavor.
Founded in 1992 by military veterans, Military Family Support Trust has been able to help military families and organizations by investing time and money into them. With donations from its community and other military veterans, it can help eight different military support organizations, including high school JROTC programs, My Warrior’s Place and Operation Warm Heart. It sponsors ‘guardians’ for Honor Flight of West Central Florida.
In May, MFST visited the newly renovated Southeastern Guide Dogs facility in Palmetto. Through donations and fundraisers, MFST donated $10,000. From this generous donation, Southeastern Guide Dogs can better help blind veterans and children by providing them with service dogs. Right now, Southeastern Guide Dogs is holding its Heroes Challenge where it will match any donations made, making MFST’s total donation to Southeastern Guide Dogs $20,000.
In 1996, MFST started its scholarship program. That year, it gave out its first scholarship, a $4,000 award to one high school senior. It currently has 15 scholarships that range from $4,000 to $12,000 that it awards to Florida high school seniors of veterans and active military personnel in order for those students to further their education.
Since MFST started its scholarship programs, it has given over $1,000,000 through scholarships. In 2022, it was able to award 13 scholarships to graduating seniors in Florida. It also gives one scholarship to the University of South Florida to be donated into its veterans program. A $12,000 reward is given each year to help USF’s veteran students and ROTC program, which include all branches.
As it partners with JROTC programs, MFST awards top cadets in each class with medals and certificates. It also awards the top junior and senior cadets with money.
Starting with two military veterans, Military Family Support Trust, with the help of the community and veterans, supports the military daily.
To learn more information on Military Family Support Trust or donate, visit www.militaryfamilysupporttrust.org or call 634-4675.