ABC7 Salutes: Foundation helps nonprofits serving veterans, their families in Orange County

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Aliso Viejo resident Alysia Martin is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. She's one of many who have benefited from the Tierney Center for Veteran Services, which is a part of Goodwill of Orange County.

"It helped to really bridge that gap for us and also introducing us to the family of veterans in the area. That was a huge help," she said.

She, like many other veterans, turned to the center to help get back on her feet.

"I was going to school full time with my G.I. bill and working and trying to be a single mom... It was just too many balls in the air at one time and so I had to let the schooling thing go, which was a direct impact on my income, so it was like I need some help," said Martin.

She says the Tierney Center was able to get her funding right away.

"Looking back, we probably would have been evicted if Tierney Center wasn't there, we probably would," she said.

The Tierney Center is one of six organizations that works with the Orange County Community Foundation. This week, they held their annual Stand & Salute Giving Day, as they raise money to help veterans and their families access these resources.

"The goal for these six organizations is to raise $125,000. They base this on their ability to meet those goals, to do their outreach through social media, through emails," said Carol Ferguson, OCCF's Director of Donor Relations and Programs. "We're just excited about it. Donors have been extremely generous and we're looking forward to these six organizations overachieving their goals."

"Sometimes, just a little bit of help at the right time means everything," said Patrick Thomson, Veteran Outreach Specialist with The Tierney Center. "These veterans walk in the door and it can be anything from they're homeless or they're in college and they're having a rough time with tuition, from A to Z."

And for veterans like Alysia, the help was essential.

"You're helping veterans like me, you're helping little girls like my daughter," she said. "The fact that this organization is here with so many different sub organizations within it, it's been a Godsend."

If you'd like to donate, go to the Orange County Community Foundation's website.

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