Community matches $40K USO donation from local business

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Ullmann Wealth Partners and the Ullmann Advised Fund has donated $40,000 to the USO Jacksonville to expand the services offered through its Healthy Military Families Initiative.

The donation was a match for funds raised by the USO from various donors in the community.

“We are pleased to support the USO and our military families,” said company president and financial adviser Glenn Ullmann. “This match demonstrates the big impact small business owners and individuals can have to help those military families in need in our local community.”

Ullmann said his wife, Lisa, suggested he find out more about the USO after returning from a Beaches Fund tour that included the charitable organization. The Beaches Fund is a group of 30 local families, including the Ullmanns, who perform philanthropy solely at the Beaches between Mayport and St. Augustine. In the last four years, the group has given away about $1.1 million to address housing, food and transportation issues that challenge those in need.

The USO, which receives no federal funding, started the Healthy Military Families Initiative in 2018 to provide the young families of active duty personnel with critical resources, such as food, diapers and baby formula.

Ullmann recalled that in the early 1980s when he was a junior officer in the U.S. Air Force, the enlisted personnel were always on food stamps.

“Now, fast-forward 40 years, and guess what?” he said. “They’re still on the poverty line.”

He pointed out that COVID-19 has made the situation worse. Where the non-military spouse might have been employed before, the second income has often gone away as the pandemic impacted local businesses.

He asked USO representatives what they needed, and they said they would like to hire a full-time operations person to help run the food bank. The obstacle: It would cost about $80,000 a year.

So, Ullmann offered to donate $40,000 a year for two years if the USO could raise the rest. And people responded.

A successful business owner who married into a family with a notable philanthropic history – Lisa Ullmann’s father was Henri Landwirth, the man who founded Give Kids The World and Dignity U Wear – Ullman said anyone can be a philanthropist.

“Even if you are putting money into the Salvation Army pot, that’s philanthropy,” he said. “If you are giving to the Red Cross when there’s a hurricane, that’s philanthropy. It doesn’t have to have $10 million behind it. There’s a lot that businesses can do.”

He suggested that people seeking a place to start should contact The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. Those interested in doing some charitable giving specific to the Beaches can contact The Beaches Fund. In fact, Ullmann said people looking to help can call him at his business.

For further information, go to the Community Foundation’s website at jaxcf.org.

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