|L to R: Deborah and Jennifer|
Fink, founders of CHAMPS.
Dear Operation CHAMPS Supporters,
This morning, with deep sadness, I am announcing that Operation CHAMPS will shut down.
Attached is our final statement that we will be posting on social media and our website. We reached this decision reluctantly, following weeks of distorted and destructive attacks from a group of adult children of military Servicemembers (Brats). Although the situation began as a mere difference of opinion regarding the “CHAMPS” terminology, the Brat attacks quickly escalated and became increasingly abusive. Some of our volunteers have been threatened, and as you know, your organizations have been besieged with posts, tweets, emails and mail requesting the withdrawal of your support. This controversy has become a significant distraction to many of your worthy organizations. Hence, we have made the decision to close our doors.
When Debbie and I set out on this journey a few years ago, we envisioned an organization that would be at the heart of a community where military families felt supported, understood, and appreciated by their civilian counterparts nationwide. Our path may have ended prematurely, but we are incredibly proud of the footprints we have left behind. Together, we were able to provide thousands of hours of free child and respite care to families of Wounded Warriors, Servicemembers, and veterans, and deliver morale-building, uplifting educational programming to thousands of elementary school-aged children living in the United States and abroad.
Moreover, Operation CHAMPS' legacy leaves a "Full Force Committee" bringing together the five military branch associations to collaborate on behalf of our military-connected children and their families. We find comfort in knowing that their collaborative efforts will continue. None of this would have been possible without your support. Because of Champions like you, we were able to bring joy to countless children and relief to our community’s Servicemembers, spouses and caretakers. We plan to use the rest of Operation CHAMPS funds on purchasing holiday gifts for our Wounded Warrior, military, and veteran families. Our high school and college volunteers will be involved in the purchasing, gift-wrapping, and delivery of these holidays gifts to our deserving Wounded Warrior, military, and veteran families. We believe this is a most befitting way to say farewell.
While Operation CHAMPS’ journey has ended, we have notified our team of dedicated volunteers that we will be happy to assist them in transitioning to volunteer with some of your organizations that would best suit their interests and locations.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns. On behalf of Operation CHAMPS’ Board of Directors, volunteers, supporters and the countless military families touched by our programs, we thank you.
Jennifer E. Fink, Founder & CEO, Operation CHAMPS, P.O. Box 342431, Bethesda, MD 20827 - 301.758.6717 - www.OperationCHAMPS.org