I cannot express how thankful we are for the incredible week long vacation Host A Hero set up for our family. After being gone for about half of the past year off and on for deployments, it was an amazing week long trip with great family memories created both during planned events and down time for relaxing, going to the pool, and go out to explore and grab dinner.
My four year old son loved playing with the stingrays at Aquarium Encounters and still is carrying around his stuffed animal telling me every day about his experience. Our two oldest daughters loved the Theater of the Sea day trip, where our oldest got kissed by a dolphin and the middle got to toss a ring around a sea lion's head. Our youngest daughter loved all the birds and getting in the water at the beach. The three oldest enjoyed the glass bottom boat tour as well and spotting different animals we hadn't yet encountered on our trip. We also made a day trip down to Key West to shop, walk around, and take some family photos.
The home we stayed in was beautiful, with it's own marina area with docks where we got to sit and watch the sunset and see a mama and baby manatee! The pool at Indigo Reef was great and the people were very friendly.
Had we tried to plan this trip on our own, it would've never looked like that or been so filled with incredible sites and experiences. The accommodations made it easy for us to even travel via airline for the first time as a family of 6. This was a once in a lifetime experience our family will always remember. We're grateful for the Host A Hero team, especially Karen and Anisa, as well as the family so generous to loan them our home for the week. If you have the ability to donate or volunteer to support this non-profit, we highly recommend it, and if you're a military family thinking about signing up for an experience like this, you definitely should!
Host A Hero provided not only a once in a lifetime luxury vacation, they gave our family connection and memories. With my husband gone so much it's hard to balance big vacations and allowing everyone space to re-connect. Host A Hero provided both! They planned short excursions while scheduling "down days" for us to lounge or make our own plans. The excursions were unique, memorable and so fun!
I cannot express in words the gratitude I have for Host a Hero. They are solely responsible for my family sharing what was our first family vacation where WE were the focus and not other family/friends. My 10 year old has experienced 5 deployments while my 5 year old has experienced 2. This doesn't even take into consideration the time away for training and other required travel. In fact, my wife and I never even shared a honeymoon due to a deployment that surfaced right after we married. Needless to say, my family connections, like many other SOF families, have suffered from all of this.
Welcome, Host a Hero! This opportunity gave us much needed time to reconnect and enjoy each other's company without feeling as if there was another agenda. And, we were able to do all of this under the beautiful backdrop of Islamorada, Florida. My wife and I were both born and raised in the Sunshine State and this was our first trip to the Keys. How exciting to experience this with our children from their eyes as well.
Alex, Karen, Anisa, and the rest of the staff at HAH are the epitome of true servantship! Their tireless effort and dedication can't be matched. HAH is the real deal. I know myself and others are often thanked for our service and the lot of us choose to serve because we love what we do. I'm guessing HAH feels the same. But from the Harrell family and the other families you've supported through the years, thank you so much for your service! It is truly an amazing thing you are doing for our community.
If you're reading this and can support Host a Hero in any way, please do so! They truly are making family dreams come true.
Host A Hero provided my family of four the exact stress free getaway we needed. The people at Host A Hero were so friendly and caring, and they were very easy to work with to ensure that we had an amazing experience. They thought of everything, from flights, vehicles, lodging and activities for us, we didn't have to worry about a thing. For a family that has been enduring deployments for almost two decades, this was what we needed. People like the ones with Host A Hero have once again proven that their are people who are truly caring, understanding and want to give back to SOF Soldiers and their families for the sacrifices we endure. I due not have enough words to show how thankful we are.
Nate F and family
Our family was absolutely blessed by Host A Hero with an all-expenses-paid, week-long family vacation. My husband had just returned home from the latest deployment (#13) and we were all ready for some family time. Our family of six was able to fly to the Florida Keys for a wonderful week of reconnecting. We were given gift cards to take care of trip expenses, dining, and groceries as well as car rental complete with a gas card. Our children enjoyed traveling with mom & dad in such a stress-free environment. We highly recommend Host A Hero to other special operations families. Thank you again for an amazing family vacation, our family is super grateful.
This non profit went above and beyond our expectations! We were a little hesitant at first when we were first told to fill out an application but that doubt was quickly erased when we started speaking and working with everyone in the organization. They made us feel safe and secure during the whole process while making sure the vacation was a perfect fit for our family. The process was seamless and the vacation was just amazing. This came at such a perfect time for our family as we were able to use this as a pre-deployment family vacation before he had to leave for deployment . We have and will continue to say Thank to Host A Hero for being such a blessing to our family and all the other families that have been touched by them.
Thanks to Host a Hero our family had the perfect vacation. It was a great experience and for a whole week, we were able to put our worries behind and focus on our family. My daughter to this date brings up memories from the trip and tell us It was her favorite vacation ever! Thanks Host a Hero for making it possible!
July 22, 2019
Host A Hero
Dear Host A Hero Organization,
The Santiago family would like to take this time to thank you for providing us with a beautiful vacation in the mountains. Additionally, we have to give a big thanks to the Host A Hero staff for taking out of your time to care for us with text messages checking up on us and for any updates needed regarding the this wonderful vacation. There are no words to express the gratitude that our family has for the Host A Hero team for making our vacation a memorable one. As I have expressed to the team I never thought this organization was real. When my husband explained that our family had been chosen for a free vacation I did not believe him. Our family’s reaction was to google search the Host A Hero organization and read the testimonials. Truth be told, nothing like this has ever happened to any of us. We have experienced things like this on television, but never in the 20 years that we have been affiliated with the military did we imagine anything like this could happen to us. And for that, I have to thank you for allowing us to experience a part of the U.S. that we have never seen before. The time that you took out to make sure we had new things to experience were so helpful that we were able to experience something new every day.
The military family life has not been easy and our faith in humanity is always tested, but Host A Hero has changed our belief. Military families are not often appreciated for our struggle, loss, or even our strengths, but a simple act of kindness goes a long way. Host A Hero organization has gone above and beyond our expectations. They have expanded our level of appreciation of others to a completely different level by making dreams come true for SOF military families. The Host A hero organization understands the importance of family time and how that helps not just the soldiers with their families, but also with providing some time to gain some piece of mind as a family. Providing an opportunity to pull a soldier out of work mode is difficult on the best of days, so you can imagine on vacations. With the Host A hero team taking care of all the planning and logistics, they removed the concern and allowed the family to focus on enjoying the trip and relaxation that in all honesty has been well needed. Again, I cannot explain how grateful we are for the time you have given us together.
Our adventures began in the Mountains of North Carolina where we experience new sights, food, and activities.
We have tried to put into words how grateful we are, but nothing will ever be enough. The memories alone are the greatest gift given to us. Host A hero has provided us with the greatest adventures that we have ever experienced as a family and that is something we will forever hold within our hearts.
Host A Hero Team, Thank You All.
Thank you for providing our family with a worriless and painless experience that we shared together. Thank you for the memories and support, but also for taking the time out of your days to check on us. I can keep going on with everything that we are thankful for, but I want to point out the importance that a honest and wholesome foundation like this exist in a world that can often show such negative aspects. As a military family we often hear and see the worst, but knowing that there is a foundation like Host A hero that takes the time to show military families another side of life helps inspire us to see there are people out there that care about our well being and through their donations make a huge impact on our family that will last for years to come. We can’t thank you enough, understand you have made believers of us and we will spread the wonderful news of what Host A Hero has to offer.
With Warmest Regards,
The Santiago Family
Anthony, Gloria, & Kailien
We feel blessed that we have been able to host these unselfish & well deserved families in our vacation home down in the keys. I can not think of a better way to give these active military families the rest, relaxation & quality time they desperately need together.
This was our first time donating our house to Host a Hero. Everything was coordinated seamlessly without a hitch. All we needed to do was make the keys available. After the week, everything was just as we had left it, nothing to do to clean up. We are so happy that we could provide a place for them to vacation and get a much needed break, stress free. Host a Hero is really making a difference. They make it smooth and easy for all involved. Thank you for this great way to contribute.
I am extremely fortunate to say that I was able to take my family of five on the vacation of a lifetime due to Host a Hero Inc.
After returning from a difficult deployment, I was made aware of the Host a Hero organization through my chain of command. Although I was unsure of what to expect, I applied and provided a bit of information regarding my experience and situation. I received a prompt reply stating that my family had been selected to receive a week long vacation. The enormity of this didn't set in, until I spoke with Karen, the Host a Hero co-founder, on the phone.
My wife and our three young boys were about to take a week long vacation to the Bahamas, with all considerations and expenses taken care of! The experience we had was something that I never could have conceived of doing without Host a Hero. The accommodations, activities, recommendations and personal details were all top-notch. Everything we did was tailored to our family. No desire went unfulfilled.
The opportunity to unwind, decompress and come together as a family after a stressful time apart was priceless. To be able to do that without concern of plans, finances, or remorse was simply a gift I'll never be able to understand.
This organization truly helps families stay together, create memories and recover a natural rhythm. I am honored, grateful and can not recommend Host A hero enough. The staff have made an immense impact on my life, and the life of my family, and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you so much.
An amazing opportunity and Charity for families of Special Forces to relax and have fun after or in between deployments! This is so important to help families reconnect and create memories that last a lifetime.
I highly recommend Host A Hero!
Host A Hero Inc. is by far one of the best nonprofits out there. The provided us an opportunity to connect as a family with zero distractions. Something we were not able to do for quite some time due to deployments and family schedules. They went above and beyond to ensure we had everything required to experience a stress free and family oriented vacation, unlike any we have had to date. Their staff is wonderful, as well as the sponsors participating in the program. Can't say enough good stuff about them.
I am happy and proud that my family and me are able to participate!
We hosted a family recently in our place in Key Largo, Florida and I could tell from their phone calls and emails what a good time they had and how grateful they were to us and Host a Hero, Inc. This charity does fantastic work, a little different from most charities where you just give them money. You can feel first hand the difference this makes to the veterans' life.
The first time I heard about this organization was via email telling me to sign my family up for an all expense paid vacation. I did the initial paperwork and my family was selected. My wife was very skeptical of the entire scenario “ who is willing to pay for a military family to have a vacation “ is what she said.
I decided to continue the process with the hope of it being a real thing and getting my family of 7 a much needed vacation after my return from a very hard and trying deployment.
This organization is legit and my family and I are very thankful for great Americans like them and their donors.
Here is a very heartfelt thank you to all who support and organize everything.
People like you all are the reason why people like me deploy year after year to defend our great country.
The first time I learned about this was by attending an event. I totally loved it. Here you see how the donation really gets to the family. I am very proud to be able to participate. Thank you to Host A Hero Inc.