Writer / Terry Mullins
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mike Daggett, president of Folds of Honor (FOH) Indiana, to learn more about the organization and its mission.
Describe the mission of Folds of Honor.
Our mission is to ensure we meet sacrifice with hope, by providing spouses and families of our fallen and disabled military and first-responder families financial scholarships to pursue their educational goals.
How did you get involved in Folds of Honor and what led you to start the Indiana chapter?
I met Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney as we were both traveling for work in 2005. We sat right next to each other on a commercial flight. We started chatting and he sold me on his vision. Lieutenant Colonel Rooney is an F-16 fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force.
Discuss the recent decision by FOH to include first responders as a class they intend to support, alongside military veterans’ families.
Members of our community have a strong desire to give back to those who serve us. By expanding our reach to include first responders, it gives our supporters a great chance to see their local dollars being used right here in Indiana.
Oftentimes people are reluctant to donate to charitable causes because they are unsure where the money goes. Can you talk about how the money is used at FOH to support the mission directly, versus the administration of the organization?
Stewardship of the funds we are trusted with is at the very core of every decision we make. Ninety cents of every dollar that we collect are converted directly to scholarships. This gives us a four-star rating on Charity Navigator and we are rated Platinum by GuideStar. Our Indiana board is 100% volunteer because we believe your donation needs to go directly to the families who depend on us to deliver.
Historically, how many scholarships have been funded by FOH Indiana?
Each year around 50 applicants totaling about $250,000 are distributed directly to Indiana families. Unfortunately, each year we have applicants who we are not able to approve, simply because we do not have the funding secured to do so.
Does FOH Indiana focus on supporting only Indiana students?
The Indiana chapter specifically works to bring awareness to the state. The money we raise locally is used first for all those who apply locally. In the past we have relied on the national effort to cover the needs of Hoosiers.
Who is eligible to apply for FOH scholarships?
As our program has evolved, the best resource is the Folds of Honor website, indiana.foldsofhonor.org. If you are the spouse or dependent of a military member or first responder, we salute you.
What are the primary ways FOH Indiana raises money to fund scholarships?
We host many fundraising events throughout the year. It’s a full schedule that keeps our volunteers busy. By participating in the event or donating directly, you can be a part of the mission.
What are your goals to grow FOH Indiana?
Our greatest need is committee members who want to help us with the mission. It takes a lot of patriots to keep it all going, so we could really use some extra hands.
To contact and learn more about FOH Indiana, visit indiana.foldsofhonor.org, or visit them on Facebook.