COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A national organization that provides educational scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled servicemembers has just recently opened up a chapter here in the Palmetto State.
There are currently 21 chapters open across the U.S., and the Palmetto State was just recently added to that list. Each chapter is operated by a board made up of people from the community, who help to facilitate donations, and spread awareness about the program.
John Thorne, Jr. is a double-Purple Heart recipient who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He says Folds of Honor has been especially useful to his son who required special attention, which Thorne says public schools were not able to provide.
“We were able to get him into Hammond and it was hard the first couple years, to pay for that, and then we found Folds of Honor and they really helped us to be able to do that," Thorne said. "I think is just fantastic when the community comes out to help guys like me.”
Steven Diaz is a Folds of Honor SC Board Member.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s a very small token of appreciation to such a great loss that that family experiences," Diaz said. "So, I’m very grateful for the mission of Folds of Honor.”
Diaz, is also a marine veteran, who was hit with a roadside bomb during his time of service and is now blind in his left eye. He says he’s honored to be a part of an organization that gives back to the families of our veterans through education.
“We want to help you with this gift," Diaz said. "Again, it’s a very small gift, because it’s not going to bring that servicemember back but in their memory, it allows that family member to do something great and to do something great through education.”
Speaking to those who helped to make the organization possible.
“Just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ and there’s a lot of people that dedicate their time to being able to help people like us and we are truly grateful for something that will let our – both our children are recipients of that," Thorne said. "So, to let both of them excel, and we’ve got one here at Hammond School, and we’ve got one at Heathwood Hall.”
The scholarships are offered for private schooling and higher education to both children and adults. In the 2018-2019 school year, the SC chapter awarded 78 scholarships totaling more than $340,000.
Folds of Honor is always looking for more scholarship applicants, as well as donations to help fulfill those scholarships. If you’re interested in applying or donating, visit their website by clicking here.