"U.S. troops have left Iraq and they'll be home from Afghanistan by the end of the year. But while these wars recede into history, America's soldiers and their families endure daily hardships in keeping us safe," said ThanksUSA CEO and Chairman Bob Okun. "We must never forget to thank them for their service. ThanksUSA's scholarships help do that."
Since its inception, ThanksUSA has provided scholarships to more than 3,000 recipients totaling almost $10 million. The organization expects to grant 500 additional awards in 2014, valued at $1.5 million.
"Some of our military families lack the resources to pursue an education that can provide new and transformative opportunities," said ThanksUSA Executive Director Michele Stork. "We're proud to be able to provide the gift of education."
Launched in 2006, ThanksUSA was created by Rachel and Kelsi Okun of McLean, Virginia, then 10 and 8 years old, respectively. With the support of their parents, neighbors, friends and benefactors, ThanksUSA has grown into a national non-profit organization. ThanksUSA's awards are made possible by continuing campaigns:
- The annual ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt competition: A free, fully interactive online digital trivia and puzzle game about U.S. history, culture and values, underwritten by the ESA Foundation. Participants are able to make donations through the contest.
- The annual Stephen Curry golf tournament: The Golden State Warriors star is also ThanksUSA's national spokesperson.
- The Jackson Casey Scholarship Fund: The Fund's mission is to honor the life of 11-year-old Jackson Casey, by providing need-based scholarships to the children of active-duty military primarily from Northern Virginia. Jackson was the grandson of former chief of staff of the Army, General George W. Casey Jr.
- Tennis Thanks the Troops: The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) challenges its members, pros and tennis enthusiasts to participate in tournaments, raffles and other activities to benefit ThanksUSA. The events begin Memorial Day weekend and run throughout the year.
- Stevens Commemorative Scholarships: In honor of the late Senator Ted Stevens.
ThanksUSA is also supported by a number of donors and in-kind benefactors including Altria Client Services, Apex, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Edelman, Goldman Sachs Gives, Intelligent Decisions, Kaplan, Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, LMO Advertising, Lockheed Martin, No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, Paladin Capital Group, Pershing Square Foundation and others.
For more scholarship information, eligibility requirements and to apply, visit www.ThanksUSA.org.
Founded in the fall of 2005, ThanksUSA, a non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization, is an effort to thank the men and women of our armed forces and their families for their service to the country with the gift of education. The organization provides need-based, post-secondary education opportunities to the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel through competitive scholarships. For more information, please visitwww.ThanksUSA.org.