A Pretty Good Return on Investment!
We’re often asked if someone can bring something by our office. That always elicits a chuckle from us. For most of us, our Honor Flight office is either an extra bedroom in our homes, our dining room table or, in some cases, our car. And we’re all perfectly fine with that, because any money spent to rent an office could and SHOULD be used for flying veterans to Washington. Likewise salaries. We are often asked how much of our budget goes to salaries and benefits. That’s worth yet another smile. We are all volunteers. Many of us involved in Honor Flight spend 40-50 hours a week on the organization on top of full-time jobs and family obligations. We use our vacation time from work to go on flights and assist with other events. But we would not have it any other way. For us, it is a labor of love, respect and gratitude. It is absolutely counter to our values as an organization to pay anyone to enjoy the amazing blessing we have been given to celebrate the service of our magnificent veterans. We are paid far more than any amount of money is worth for the privilege of knowing, escorting and thanking these great Americans.
The point is Central Missouri Honor Flight is one lean, mean machine. Most volunteers pay for the supplies related to their volunteer responsibilities themselves in order to save every possible dollar for the flights. We look for donations of bottled water and food for the flights wherever we can. Guardians pay their trip expenses, and we do as much fundraising (along with our amazing community partners) as our schedules permit (and we don’t pay anyone to do it.)
When you donate to an organization, you want to know that your money does indeed go to deliver the service and not for any unnecessary or inflated overhead expenses or glossy brochures. When you give to Honor Flight, you can rest assured that is the case. Actually, you are doing much more than paying for airline tickets, bus transportation or box lunches. What you are paying for is pride in our veterans’ service, smiles on their faces, relief after many years of regrets and tranquil nights free of nightmares and grief. You are supporting life-changing experiences, and you are replacing bad memories with good ones. You are investing in a veteran’s freedom, as they invested in ours so many years ago.
More than 500 veterans await their once-in-a-lifetime trip. We thank you for investing in Central Missouri Honor Flight’s mission, and we look forward to working with you to change lives in 2018!