USO Pop-Up Mobile Initiative

USO Pop-Up Mobile Initiative

Grant Year: 2021 | Focus Area: Health & Wellness | Grant Amount: $101,820 | Grant Status: In Progress

USO Pop-Up Mobile Initiative

United Service Organization, Inc.

The USO's mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. This is accomplished by maintaining a constant and significant presence in the lives of those serving our country and their families and by providing a continuum of care at every step of their journey. From the time they swear their oath of service to the time they transition successfully back to civilian life, the USO is by their side. The USO is continuously adapting to the needs of those in uniform and their families so they can focus on their important mission. The scope, scale, presence, reach and knowledge, and close collaboration with the military, give the USO the unparalleled ability to meet the wide range of needs of service members and their families. The USO remains dedicated to expanding access to USO centers and programs around the world, increasing annual service connections and boosting transition services for service members and their families throughout their time of duty. In every corner of the world and in Pensacola, service members will know that the USO is always by their side.

Project Description

Many service members in our area are located too far from USO centers to benefit from the services and amenities offered. Pop-Up USO will provide USO services, center amenities and base expeditionary services in the service areas of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. The USO Northwest Florida operation will be able to provide a fun and enriching USO experience through Pop-Up USO with the ability to grill food, play music, show movies, play video games and lawn games, serve refreshments and show outside movies on a large TV mounted on side of the trailer. The Pop-Up USO will be used at NAS Pensacola, Corry Station Pensacola, Whiting Field, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, 7th Special Forces, Fort Rucker, as well as National Guard duties throughout our area. Pop-Up USO will also provide much-needed supplies and support to the National Guard and military communities in times of crisis. IMPACT 100 funds will be used for the purchase of a truck and custom outfitted 20-foot concession-style trailer that will serve as a USO Center on wheels. It will be wrapped in true USO patriotic fashion and feature the IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area logo.

Community Impact

With a military footprint of 53,000 in Northwest Florida in 2019 making up 40% of the economy of Escambia County, the health and well-being of our active-duty military and their families is important. Currently, the USO Northwest Florida serves 100-300 service members (per event) with just a regular pick-up truck and SUV. With Pop-Up USO, the organization will be able to serve more of our military with increased quality and number of events. The goal is to serve at least 25,000 service members at Pop-Up USO events in the first year. USO will be able to offer more morale-boosting activities as well as assist in disaster relief efforts in a more organized way. Since suicide in the military increased by 13.5% in 2020, due to isolation and depression, this project could provide activities to support servicemembers to decrease the isolation associated to being in a new environment. USO will be able to reach more service members, provide more services to those out of range of a USO center, and provide more volunteer opportunities for the community.