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Army Emergency Relief

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Army Emergency Relief (AER) was organized as a private nonprofit organization in February 1942 to provide emergency financial assistance to U.S. Army Soldiers (both active duty and retirees) and their eligible family members. 

Programs: Provided to relieve distress, often involving the basic essentials of everyday living, either in the form of a no-interest loan, a grant, or combination depending on the applicant's personal situation. Amount of assistance provided is only limited by an individual's valid need. Loans may be converted to grants at any time it is determind that continued repayment creates undue hardship. All assistance to widows(ers) and orphans is provided in the form of a grant. In 2008, AER issued over 66,000 cases of assistance and disbursed $70,888,225 in emergency assistance, an 11.8% increase over 2007. Included in this amount is $5,495,303 in assistance provided in the form of a grant due to hardship of assistance to widows(ers) and orphans (2,304 cases) and Wounded Warriors (677 cases). Membership in the Armed Forces Service Corporation was provided to 399 widows in the amount of $397,055. In addition, AER declared on additional $3,484,752 in outstanding loans as uncollectible due to hardship and or bankruptcy, non-response, or other reasons. 

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

I spent many years in the Army leading soldiers. Whenever my soldiers needed assistance, when life's troubles had gotten them in financial situations they couldn't get out of, AER was the place I sent them. When the Commander and I supported their need, AER always did what they could to help with loans, grants, help from their lending lockers, referrals to other sources of support, or whatever. They never let a needy soldier down, though.

I donate to AER every year, and have kept that up ever since I retired. I strongly recommend this charity for anyone interested in donating money that gets right into the hands of soldiers and their families when they need it the most. Very little overhead funded by the charity itself - most is funded by the Army. It's a well-managed, strong, and secure fund that does exactly what it says it does.

Dr. Dave Hatfield
SGM, US Army (Retired)


Rating: 4

Many years back I was looking for a way to support our military directly. I have supported the USO efforts, but I wanted to do something more direct. After some research, I found the AER. I started donating to them years ago and do not believe I have ever received any solicitation from them for further donations.

What I discovered is this organization gives loans/grants directly to military families. So, if someone serving or their family is in a tight spot and needs a temporary lift, the army can step in to assist, with direct help and not a lot of red tape.

From the donor's side, I am giving this charity four stars.
I do not have first hand experience so I did not give it the full 5, although it may be very worthy of 5.