David and Cynthia Kim Founded Children of Fallen Patriots to help provide college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.
Since the Children of Fallen Patriots was first established in 2002, the organization continues to uphold its mission to serve the families of fallen patriots, including “combat casualties, military training accidents, service-related illnesses, suicide, as well as other duty-related deaths as ruled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Children of Fallen Patriots serve these families by ensuring every child receives all necessary funding for college.
When Peter Hogarth, Chief Financial Officer & Co-Chief of Staff for Fallen Patriots, came to the organization, he saw it as a great way to serve his country. Hogarth never served himself, but has a strong family history of service in the United States Military. So when Fallen Patriots came a-knocking, Hogarth was ready for duty.
“It's something that I've held near and dear to my heart,” Hogarth said. “This is a great way to do my service without doing the service directly.”
96 percent of surviving spouses are female. Also, over half of the surviving spouses make less than $50,000 a year. Oftentimes, these spouses have young kids. All these factors can make it seem like college is out of reach.
“As an organization, we are giving them the opportunity to achieve something they no longer thought was attainable for their children. As a parent myself, it's very moving to me to be able to see how resilient these families are and how great they do, and achieve such wonderful things after such a tragedy in their lives.”
In addition, Hogarth also knows that sometimes all people need is a listening ear. Fallen Patriots provide emotional support when needed and never forget the importance of listening. The work of Fallen Patriots extends far beyond the financial help, though it is part of its main focus.
The work of Children of Fallen Patriots has enabled the organization to give $65 million in support for educational counseling to over 2,800 students. Fallen Patriots estimate that the total population of children that qualify for the program is about 25,000, which puts it just over 10 percent of the way there. Although there’s certainly a long way to go, visit the website to learn how you can get involved here.
Photo credits: Courtesy of Peter Hogarth