Operation Helping Hand (Op HH) was formed in the spring of 2004 to provide assistance and support for the families of the active duty wounded and injured.
The active duty wounded and injured from Iraq and Afghanistan are being treated at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa. Many of the patients are at the hospital from a few weeks or months to over a year. Op HH also helps active duty patients at the Tampa VA hospital who were injured in accidents worldwide.
Due to the generous contributions of individuals, corporations and associations to Op HH over $200,000 has been provided to the wounded and injured their families plus they received over $500,000 in-in kind support such as gasoline coupons, rental cars, amusement park, movie and dinner tickets.
At the monthly dinners for the wounded and injured and their families Op HH presents gift bags containing such items as gift certificates, phone cards, watches, teddy bears, cell phone cards, dinner coupons, gas coupons and many other things needed for their stay while their love one is being treated at the VA hospital. Family kits are also presented to the wounded and injured and their families upon their arrival at the Tampa VA hospital.
The administrative costs for Op HH total approximately 3.5 percent of funds contributed. All of the work is done by volunteers with no compensation whatsoever.
Active duty military are transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda National Naval Medical Center or from many other military medical centers to to the Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. They arrive with the following wounds and injuries:
Each year Newman’s Own, Fisher House Foundation and Military Times Media Group offer a challenge to volunteer organizations which support our military and their families in the War on Terror. In 2005 Operation Helping Hand placed first out of 177 entries and was awarded a $10,000 grant at the Pentagon. In 2006 Operation Helping Hand again entered and was awarded a $5,000 grant.
Additionally, Op HH has been awarded the United Way of Tampa's prestigious "Golden Acheievement Award" for 2008, and the "Outstanding Community Service Award" from the Tampa Mayor's Alliance for 2008.