Operation First Response

“Serving America’s Finest”

aka OFR   |   Culpeper, VA   |  www.operationfirstresponse.org

Mission

Operation First Response, Inc., supports our nation's Wounded Warriors and their families with personal and financial needs. Services are provided from the onset of injury, throughout their recovery period and along their journey from military life into 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.

Ruling year info

2005

President/CEO

Mrs. Peggy Baker

Main address

20037 Dove Hill Rd

Culpeper, VA 22701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-1622436

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Travelers' Aid (P61)

Victims' Services (P62)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Thanks to advances in protective technologies and battlefield medicine more of our Heroes are surviving combat. However, once home many are struggling with the wounds of battle, both visible and invisible – which can contribute to the risk of suicide. The suicide rate has reached unprecedented numbers since 2013 statistics have shown that Military suicides have exceeded combat deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a daunting fact and the heartbreaking reality of suicide is that it is a permanent solution to a temporary issue and only leaves a trail of broken hearts that spans generations. While attempting to manage their recovery/transition into the civilian world, they are entered into a backlogged and broken system. The complex VA process can take over a year or more leaving them to deal with the horrors of war and the inability to provide for their families.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Wounded Warrior Family Assistance Program

In addition to the devastation faced when the news of a wounded loved one travels home, are the burdens of financial obligation.
 The practical problems that result when this service member can no longer step back into the workforce washes over these families in waves of desolation.

 Since 2004 the Veterans Administration has received over 400,000 new claims from OIF/OEF Veterans, between these claims and new claims from other conflicts this has created a backlog of over 1 million cases.

A new VA claim has an average wait of six months to one year if undisputed but if the case is disputed it can take up to 4 years for the Veteran to receive benefits rightfully due him/her.

This delay is leading to financial damage for these families resulting in the inability to sustain their household bills and other basic needs.

Severe cases are resulting in homelessness and the deterioration of the family unit.

There is a significant rise in the suicide rate of our returning Veterans, in many cases the Veteran’s inability to care for his/her family, in turn causing financial ruin, is  the final straw.

 

This is not only a problem that affects the Veterans and their families but also ultimately affects the communities the Veterans are returning to.

Without the means of staying financially stable during their VA process they will not be able to become productive members of their communities.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Families

From OFR's experience the financial devastation can be the last straw for our Veterans suffering with PTSD. It is our hope to alleviate the financial stress for the Veteran allowing them to make clear decisions about treatment without the burden of the cost it will have on the family. By receiving treatment and learning to cope with PTSD in a manageable manner we will return more Veterans to their families and communities as productive members.
 
As the recipients of their Service and Sacrifices we have a responsibility to assure their quality of life.

Operation First Response is the bridge between the Warrior and hope for a promising future, enabling them to concentrate on recovery.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Families

When a wounded service person is evacuated from the battlefield more often than not they arrive for treatment with no personal items or suitable clothing. 
Operation First Response Backpacks are filled with a change of clothing, hygiene items, additional comfort items and a handmade cot size quilt.

 

OFR Backpacks are packed and sent by OFR to combat support hospitals (CHS) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other locations when contacted by military liaisons that are in need of our service. OFR Backpacks are dispersed as needed by liaisons at Combat Support Hospitals in theatre and U.S. base locations.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Families

Where we work

Awards

Newman's Own Award 2007

Fisher House

Newman's Own Award 2008

Fisher House

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans, People with disabilities, Emergency responders

Related Program

Wounded Warrior Family Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Operation First Response chose to assist with a larger amount to make a larger difference in the families that we served bringing the number of served in down slightly.

Number of clients who report that services/supports are available when needed, even in a crisis

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Veterans

Related Program

Wounded Warrior Family Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Totals for each year are broken out by percentage of surveys received and rated very good by Veterans served.

Number of phone calls/inquiries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Wounded Warrior Family Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We are small staffed and to assist with the rising needs we have directed phone callers to our website for the information they are contacting Operation First Response. This has helped response time.

Number of families assisted with rent or mortgage to avoid eviction

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Wounded Warrior Family Assistance Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of job skills training courses/workshops conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans, Emergency responders

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is a new program that started in November 2020. 30 Students attended the CCNA course provided by Operation First Response at no cost to the Students.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Strategic Plan for 2019, Operation First Response’s Strategic goals are:

• Assist Every Case Received to the Full Amount Needed.
• Develop Partnerships to Expand Services Provided.
• To Raise Awareness of the Challenges that Returning Soldiers face during their recovery period.
• Decrease the Suicide Rate of the Military/Veteran population

Within the overarching goals of our 2019 Strategic Plan are our strategic objectives, which are:

• Objective for Goal 1: To raise funding to ensure that all Disabled Veterans receive the assistance needed to overcome any financial burden as a result of injuries that occurred in defense of our country.
• Objective for Goal 2: OFR seeks to develop partnerships with businesses and other organizations to aid in the expansion of the full scope of services provided.
• Objective for Goal 3: To increase awareness of the plight of tens of thousands of returning Soldiers who are wounded and whose families are facing significant financial and emotional challenges as their loved ones recover.
• Objective for Goal 4: Suicide remains one of the biggest challenges for our Military/Veterans and OFR works to relieve the factors that drive them to suicide.

• Substantial nationwide support through our loyal donors.
• A collaborative team of 3 staff members and approximately 750 volunteers nationwide.
• Exceptional leadership and management.
• Strong and involved board governance and oversight.
• Volunteers that are strategically placed across the nation devoting their time to mentoring Veterans in need, raising awareness and searching for fundraising opportunities.
• 24/7 access for wounded, injured, critically ill Active Duty Service Members and Disabled Veterans and their families to request emergency financial assistance virtually at www.operationfirstrseponse.org.

2019 Statistics

2,027 Wounded Heroes and their Families received assistance with:
• Mortgage and Rent
• Utilities
• Vehicle Payments
• Groceries
• Air Transportation
• Ground Transportation
• Lodging
• Mentorship and resources

354 OFR Backpacks were sent to combat support hospitals in theatre.

746 OFR Hygiene Bags were given to Veteran Homeless Shelters



To Date Statistics (2004-2019)

21,840 Wounded Heroes and their Families received assistance with:
• Mortgage and Rent
• Utilities
• Vehicle Payments
• Groceries
• Air Transportation
• Ground Transportation
• Lodging
• Mentorship and resources


11,407 OFR Backpacks were sent to combat support hospitals in theatre.

1,572 OFR Hygiene Bags were given to Veteran Homeless Shelters

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    As the journey and needs of those we serve change, we are able to identify those changes and implement new programs to help with the new needs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Operation First Response
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Operation First Response

Board of directors
as of 1/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Phillip Irizarry

No Affiliation

Term: 2010 -

Bob O'Donoghue

Phillip Irizarry

Ronny Porta

Retired USMC Wounded Warrior

Peggy Baker

Operation First Reponse

Danielle Ferguson

Lauri Hauser

Cox Communications

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.