Partners in Care initiative links faith-based and non-profit groups with Soldiers and Airmen in need

 

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) J. D. Moore, the Virginia National Guard’s full-time support chaplain, conducts training with representatives from faith-based and non-proft groups during the kickoff for the “Partners in Care” initiative May 14 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Mr. Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

FORT PICKETT, Va. — More than 85 representatives of faith-based and non-profit organizations from across Virginia took part in the kickoff for the “Partners in Care” initiative May 14 at Fort Pickett. The program is an alliance between the Virginia National Guard Chaplain Corps and groups looking to assist Soldiers, Airmen and their families during a time of need.

“By the end of the day, 50 groups signed up to partner with us in care,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) J. D. Moore, the Virginia National Guard’s full-time support chaplain. “The most surprising part of the day was the amount of resources that we were able to locate from counseling services, shelter, food pantries, lawn care, car maintenance to child care.

Moore said that Virginia is one of five states to volunteer to test the program that originally started in Maryland.

“They all were so willing to give and help support the Virginia National Guard,” Moore said. “Patriotism and genuine care is not gone, and it was demonstrated during our training event. I for one was lifted up and encouraged by the participation of so many different faith groups. This is only going to get bigger and better.”

The program has already resulted in assistance for a Soldier in need. Moore said that a Soldier who just returned from deployment needed to attend a funeral for a family member in Missouri, and assistance was quickly found through the Partners in Care network.

“I received three immediate responses to support this Soldier of the Virginia Army National Guard, and he should have the funding he needs to get to Missouri for his family funeral and back again,” Moore said.

Active duty installations serve as resource platforms for active duty service members and their families, and as their needs surface, care is close by, but that is not necessarily so for the National Guard service member who may be many miles from a resource platform for immediate care, Moore explained.

“Partners In Care bridges the gap,” Moore said. “The organizations form as a resource platform within the Soldier or Airmen’s community.”

Once a service member’s need is recognized and validated by the Virginia National Guard regional Family Assistance Coordinator, the coordinator contacts the Chaplain Corps. The Chaplains serve as the clearing house for the referrals to the churches, congregations and other faith-based groups and non-profit organizations.

Moore said that each partner has completed training in suicide prevention through the Veterans Administration and also has completed a Resource Assessment allowing the Chaplain to know who has what to offer.  The groups sign an informal agreement with the Chaplain Corps not to proselytize or require membership to their organizations in order to provide support.

“Every service member, regardless of faith or no faith is to be serviced equally.” Moore said.

For more information, contact Chaplain Moore at by email at jd.moore1@us.army.mil or by phone 434-298-6106 (Office) or 434-292-9054 (mobile).

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