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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Operation First Response

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services, Travelers Aid, Victims Services

Mission: The mission of Operation First Response, Inc (OFR) is to serve all branches of our nation's Wounded Warriors and their families with personal and financial needs. Services are provided from the onset of injuries or illness, throughout their recovery period and along their journey from military life to the civilian world. Financial aid varies as each case is based on individual needs ranging from rent, utilities, vehicle payments, groceries, clothing, and travel expenses.

Results: To Date Statistics (2004-2015) 14,887 Wounded Heroes and their Families received assistance with: • Mortgage and Rent • Utilities • Vehicle Payments • Groceries • Air Transportation • Ground Transportation • Lodging 10,098 OFR Backpacks were sent to combat support hospitals in theater.

Target demographics: Serving Wounded Heroes and Disabled Veterans

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2230 Military Families

Geographic areas served: Nation wide

Programs: Emergency financial aid

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OFR is truly passionate about what they do! They serve our Veterans with the utmost respect.
Veterans know when they come to OFR they have a family and won't be just another case number. This is a ten star charity, five stars just aren't enough!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization shows the true meaning of what a non-profit is supposed to be! Their amazing team is made up of the most generous and caring group of people that I have ever had the honor of meeting. They don't treat you as just a number, they treat you like an individual that matters. They make it easy for all Veterans to ask for help because they do not put them down, they show full compassion and understanding. If you look at their financials they give 97% of every dollar that gets donated to the brave men and women who serve our country! They are in my eyes the absolute number one organization that supports our nation's Heroes!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization truly cares for our Veterans! Every donor can rest assured that their hard earned money will definitely go to help a Veteran in need. OFR is a family and treats each Veteran as a family member. Please consider giving to this organization when looking for a great cause to give to!

2 Mandy18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of volunteering with OFR for about 10 years now. They are an incredible, amazing, caring, giving, and close group of people that go way above and beyond for our nation's heroes who have given so much for all of us! I'm am blessed an honored to have been raising my children to be involved as well. As for our "non veteran business owner" I bet if you ask our heroes they'd tell you that there's no one else that they'd rather have in their corner! He does nothing but give to and love these families!!!!!
As for "bellhop" it's a shame that you have such a sad and pathetic life that you have nothing better to do then to sit on a computer and stoop to the lowest point that you have. How on Earth do you talk about wounded vets like you did?? And we all know that the non veteran business owner was great in your eyes when he was paying your bills, wasn't he???

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OFR donates over 95% of every dollar raised to our wounded military and their families by paying everything from rent and mortgage payments to utilities or back to school clothes. Their help doesn't stop there though. They are always there for these heroes with psychological help 24/7. And once they've met them they're family for life! I'm blessed to be a volunteer in such a wonderful organization!!!!!

1 Jenn32

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My friend had his electric bill paid by this non-profit and another. The other non-profit has bad reviews here so I will not mention them but a pymt they made BOUNCED. I wrote to OFR and asked if they could help us a 2nd time. Normally, they could not. As a SO of a retired disabled vet with PTSD and sleep apnea, plus that I am a diabetic, we did not sleep last night.

That is not good for either of us. OFR is helping us. As a former PR specialist for two different non-profits in the arts, you can only imagine how I felt when they said we'll take care of this for you. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE donate to these nice folks. I will be promoting them on Facebook, Twitter and any other place I can. They deserve your support and earned it today from ME. FOREVER.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is Amazing! These people will do anything they can to reach out and help our veterans. In reading some others' reviews it is obvious the impact they've made. As a volunteer I am so proud to be apart of this crew and lucky to meet all the heroes who also become family!
As for our Non-Veteran Philly guy... you cannot find a more selfless and giving man. Ask anyone.

One comment left by "Bellhop" is fictional and clearly an attempt by someone disgruntled to shed a bad light on a great cause. Also, it is disgusting that they would speak of the non-veteran who has given this his all! Whomever Bellhop is should not hide behind a fake username. I think most of us know who you are anyway. We saw your true colors a while ago. And who would take the word of someone who claims to "swing" with widows and so called damaged men?

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Operation First Response, Philadelphia is all about the widows and swinging. Best time volunteering there or hanging out. I've had more dates with grieving widows and damaged men than I thought possible. They trot the burnt veteran out like a show pony. The NON VETERAN BUSINESS OWNER who runs it for public relations to promote his business is doing a fine job . THE PHILADELPHIA VETERAN house that he was on the board of RAN OUT OF MONEY and had to be closed down after the big FUND RAISING GALA they had.
Veterans need help but who else is helping themselves???.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

operation-first-response-inc 10/20/2016

Dear bellhop, These are pretty serious accusations to make please contact me at peggy@operationfirstresponse.org

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OFR is one of the best organizations I have dealt with. Everything they do is from the heart and I back them 100%. Their goal is to help those in need, however they can. That's something that should never go unappreciated. They've brought happiness and relief to those they aid. I will always endorse them to anyone willing to help our military!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being involved with this organization for a very long time. I never knew the struggles our brave men and women of the Armed Forces faced until I attended a Walk for the Wounded. It was truly an eye opening moving experience. This organization goes above and beyond to ease the struggles our Disabled Veteran's face. They are not only there to help them over come the financial trouble in front of them but they embrace the Veteran as family. That is what OFR is; a family. Every Veteran is treated with the respect, compassion and kindness that they deserve. I urge you to look into OFR. I promise you their mission will touch your heart. Please consider OFR the next time you feel the need to help an organization. No act of kindness is too small.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Operation First Response, Inc., (OFR), is the most amazing nonprofit organization I have ever had the honor of meeting and working with! They exceed all expectations of what a true nonprofit is and treat everyone as family! They never treat you as just a number, they show true compassion for what us Veterans and our families are going through! Peggy Baker is the mom of all moms and she takes care of everyone as if they all were her own! She started OFR in 2004 after her son joined the military after 9/11 and she knew that something needed to be done for us, because the government and the veterans affairs were doing nothing. When you need someone they are they not only to assistance with emergency financial aid but with and open ear and heart ready to listen and help you through whatever may be happening. They show us Veterans that there are people out there that still care! They are what makes us Veterans want to serve our country and keep our people safe! There are a lot of organizations that state they help Veterans (not naming the one I'm speaking about, but I think everyone knows who it may be) but they don't help at all. There is one organization that does and that cares and that will always be there no matter what and that is Operation First Response, Inc.!

1 Jaegarr

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the great pleasure of volunteering my time to this wonderful organization and am very close with the fine individuals that make up their home office. I know just how much they care about what they do and how they push themselves to help so many people. Unlike what one reviewer falsely claimed, they do not make large salaries. Their financials are on their website. They are accurate. We should not be getting mad at them for not having the funds to assist those that truly need it. We should, instead, be disgusted with the lack of care that many people have for our wounded men and women of our Armed Forces. So many "Facebook Warriors" like and share but drop the ball soon after. They do not devote time nor resources, which make it to those that truly need it; not some greedy, "fat-cat". I hope everyone looking into this wonderful organization looks at their financials (like you should do prior to donating anywhere) and then giving these wonderful people a call or email asking for more information. I promise they do their jobs well and greatly care for what they do.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

VA Caregiver and Disabled Combat Veteran rate this "non-profit" as ZERO stars, and one of the worst alleged veteran help organizations. They have stated that they have and retain literally NO funds to assist Veterans, since February of this year, however feel free to spend their purported "zero dollars" on things like advertising, events costs, and employees outlandish salaries; just like Wounded Warrior Project. They're Fiancial Reports dictate these very facts. They're real name should be Operation NO Response. Highlighting their money-hungry agenda, you are only prompted to leave a message when choosing option 1, to Donate $$ to their fraudulent organization.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

operation-first-response-inc 03/29/2016

It saddens us to receive such a negative review, we know that we will not be able to make everyone happy all of the time however a Veteran that has been served by us in the past stating such incorrect information is even more disappointing. In response to our financials we encourage every donor to thoroughly check out an organization before giving their hard earned dollars. You can view all of our financials at our website, where they are clearly displayed. You will find that we do not have outlandish salaries, we do not even have a marketing budget, we are blessed that most of the costs of our events are donated and we have an amazing team of volunteers. Our phone line is only a voicemail service due to the fact that we have 3 full time staff and serve all branches nation-wide. We are bombarded with calls and extremely busy as a direct service organization. To ensure that no call falls through the cracks we receive them as voicemails and we return those calls within 24 hours but more often within a couple hours of receiving the message. The first part of our voicemail message is to our Veterans, family members or Case Workers with instructions to begin the process by filling out the online application. There are also several other options with voicemail boxes to leave a message such as donations, volunteering, media and corporate. We are small and receive so many requests that there are times throughout the year that we are unable to assist or are unable to revisit a case. However even if we cannot help we make contact with the Veteran or family member and explain our situation and offer other resources. Operation First Response brought in $1,145,081 in 2014 of that 1.5% went to general operating costs and 1% went to fundraising.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was hit by an IED in Afghanistan in 2009. Because of the extent of his burns, he was flown to BAMC in San Antonio where his condition remained tenuous for over a year. I'm not really sure how Operation First Response learned about me, but they did - Peggy called me and asked what kind of help I needed. I had left my home and job and pets when I got the call about my son - now I was in need of help to pay rent and bills and someone to look after my animals. Peggy did not hesitate. I was provided with a check to take care of my home situation immediately. She came to BAMC from her home in Virginia to meet me and offered any other help I might need. She and Operation First Response helped me a number of times after the first time, in addition to her calling me frequently to talk and keep my spirits up. Peggy and I have remained friendly ever since, and she still calls to make sure I am doing okay. She and all the other volunteers of Operation First Response are so genuinely caring, and though they are helping so many people every day, I always felt I was first in their thoughts and concerns. It takes very special people to be able to convey that much love and true concern for everyone they help.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation First Response has served over 12,657 families nationwide since 2004 with 95 cents to every dollar going to those who need it most. These men and women, who give so graciously of their time, genuinely care about the soldiers and families. They even follow up with them years after their initial meeting. Please consider supporting this amazing group who do so much for those who fight for our freedom

1 Coreen T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to one of OFR's Walks for the Wounded about 5 years ago and it was obvious that this was a small group of people making a real difference in military families' lives. They help as many wounded soldiers, Marines, etc., as they can, and what really struck me was how they become like family to the ones they help. They not only offer financial help, they give emotional support as well. I was so impressed with their efforts that I now volunteer with the organization. Now that I have more insight into Operation First Response, I'm even more impressed--they do everything they can to keep costs low, giving about 95% of every dollar donated to wounded military members/veterans and their families.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The govt messed up my husband's disability check, so for 3 months we had no income. Thankfully Operation First Response came to our rescue by paying $500 of our rent. It was the 3rd monthof being without his disability pay and we had nothing left to sell/pawn to pay the rent. Operation First Response saved us from being evicted. They responded to our request within 24hrs of our application, and had a check in the mail soon after. This organization is much needed and appreciated.

1 NJArmyMom

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation First Resonse provided a life line to my son's when they were hurt. OFR responded to me quickly and took care of the details for my family. The OFR organization has such compassion and concern for our military and their families.

This organization is the first one I tell other military families to reach out to if their soldier is in need.

You will not find a better organization that supports our military.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is Wonderful and they are there to help the wounded soldiers and their families. Peggy has such compassion for our wounded and it shows by all associated with this organization. OFR is a beacon of light during the darkest times for the wounded soldier and their family.



1 Stephen48

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is run by the most dedicated women ever. She helped improve the lives of thousand of families and wounded veterans. Operation First Response is there 24/7

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recently, last year I'm 74, so that's recent to me. I had a minor transportation problem, I had to get to Louisville, KY, and had no way of getting there from Massachusetts. A friend suggested OPERATION FIRST RESPONCE. I knew of them they help the wounded, and their families, and from all I've heard are doing a fantastic job.
Anyhow at my friends urging I called them, and explained my problem.
The following day I received an Email telling me a round trip flight to Knoxville had been approved, and just show up at the ticket counter at the specified time.

2 john soghomonian

Donor

Rating: 5

Do you love and support our vets? OFR does BIG TIME. .... 97% of funds goes directly to helping vets. We vote every single day with our dollars. OFR gets my vote.
TY for all you do for our great vets.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

OFR is an amazing organization that helps so many people who make daily sacrifices in preserving our rights and freedoms as Americans. The leadership is great and the hearts of the leaders and organization is greater.