AbilityOne, USO Unite to Support Wounded Warriors

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The AbilityOne Program, the largest single source of U.S. employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities, has entered into a strategic alliance with the USO, which is known internationally for providing morale-boosting activities and services to the military. This alliance will leverage the resources of both organizations to assist and empower service members, particularly wounded warriors.

AbilityOne will provide volunteer support through its network of more than 40,000 employees — 2,000 of whom are veterans — for the USO Operation Enduring Care program, which works to meet the recovery needs of injured service members and their families. For their first joint initiative the two organizations will pack “comfort kits” for injured troops coming directly from the battlefield.

This declaration marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between AbilityOne and the USO, and responds to the United We Serve initiative, the call to action by President Obama and the First Lady to encourage volunteerism.

“This strategic alliance brings together two organizations that are dedicated to addressing the challenges that wounded warriors face and providing resources to help them recover,” said Tina Ballard, executive director and CEO, Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, the independent federal agency that administers the AbilityOne Program. “This partnership also sends the very important message that AbilityOne employees are capable and dedicated to serving our soldiers who sacrifice for our freedoms. On behalf of AbilityOne employees located nationwide, we are proud to lend our time and our talents to support USO programs and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship.”

“We enthusiastically welcome AbilityOne’s participation in Operation Enduring Care and appreciate the organization’s efforts to help us support the welfare and social needs of American service members,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president and CEO. “Moving forward, we hope that AbilityOne employees will continue to serve not only as USO volunteers, but also as a source of inspiration to wounded veterans.”

The Committee for Purchase and its two central nonprofit agencies — National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and NISH – will officially launch the strategic alliance later this month at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. In addition to AbilityOne employees assembling the first Operation Enduring Care comfort kits, Ballard; Gibson; Bob Chamberlin, president and CEO, NISH; and Kevin Lynch, president and CEO, NIB, will deliver remarks.

AbilityOne Program
Providing employment opportunities to more than 40,000 people, the AbilityOne Program is the largest single source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the United States. More than 600 participating nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide quality goods and services to the federal government at a fair market price. The AbilityOne Program is administered by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, an independent federal agency, with assistance from National Industries for the Blind (NIB) and NISH-Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Severe Disabilities.

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s armed forces and their families. We provide a touch of home to troops wherever they serve through centers at airports and military bases around the world, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services tailored to meet the needs of troops and their families. The USO is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people. The USO is also supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, S & K Sales Co. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined millions of individual donors to support the USO. For more information, please visit www.uso.org.

SOURCE AbilityOne Program

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