USA — Operation Homefront Receives $1M from Outback Steakhouse

TAMPA, Fla., June 25, 2010 — A month-long cam­paign cul­mi­nat­ed yes­ter­day with a $1 mil­lion gift from a restau­rant chain to a non­prof­it troop-sup­port orga­ni­za­tion.

Oper­a­tion Home­front received the dona­tion at a recep­tion held in an Out­back Steak­house restau­rant here.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing Out­back Steak­house restau­rants around the coun­try held a “Thanks for Giv­ing” cam­paign in March, in which cus­tomers could demon­strate sup­port for the nation’s ser­vice­mem­bers by order­ing from a spe­cial “Red, White and Bloomin’ ” menu. A por­tion of the pro­ceeds from menu sales dur­ing the March ini­tia­tive con­tributed to the $1 mil­lion com­mit­ment Out­back Steak­house made to Oper­a­tion Home­front, offi­cials said.

“The gen­eros­i­ty of Out­back Steak­house is an incred­i­ble tes­ta­ment of sus­tain­ing sup­port to our ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies,” said Jim Knotts, chief exec­u­tive offi­cer of Oper­a­tion Home­front. “With the ongo­ing deploy­ments in Iraq, increased deploy­ments to Afghanistan and severe eco­nom­ic chal­lenges, the needs are greater than ever for basic neces­si­ties like food, util­i­ties and rent. We know mil­i­tary fam­i­lies strug­gle in meet­ing the most basic of needs, and this gen­er­ous $1 mil­lion dona­tion will make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence.

“As a result of Out­back Steak­house and coun­try music super­star Tim McGraw’s col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts,” Knotts con­tin­ued, “we are gen­uine­ly priv­i­leged to be able to accept this dona­tion and there­by con­tin­ue to serve our coun­try by serv­ing mil­i­tary fam­i­lies. Thank you for your con­tin­ued part­ner­ship in this most-hon­or­able endeav­or.”

Liz Smith, CEO of OSI Restau­rant Part­ners — a com­pa­ny that owns sev­er­al restau­rant chains, includ­ing Out­back — thanked ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies for their ser­vice, and Out­back cus­tomers for their sup­port.

“The sac­ri­fices that our troops and their fam­i­lies make so that we can enjoy the free­doms we have in the Unit­ed States is some­thing Out­back employ­ees have rec­og­nized and appre­ci­at­ed since we opened our doors 22 years ago,” she said. “As we express our sin­cere appre­ci­a­tion to those serv­ing our coun­try, we would also like to thank the count­less Amer­i­cans who ral­lied behind our ‘Thanks for Giv­ing’ pro­gram.”

In addi­tion, Out­back part­nered with coun­try music super­star Tim McGraw dur­ing his “South­ern Voice” con­cert tour. Pro­ceeds from a South­ern Voice com­mem­o­ra­tive T-shirt also will be donat­ed to Oper­a­tion Home­front.

Oper­a­tion Home­front pro­vides direct ser­vices that alle­vi­ate emer­gency finan­cial bur­dens for ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies, as well as coun­sel­ing and recov­ery sup­port.

The group pro­vides finan­cial assis­tance with checks paid direct­ly to mort­gage lenders, auto mechan­ics, con­trac­tors, hos­pi­tals, doc­tors, den­tists and oth­er providers with­in 24 to 72 hours of receiv­ing a com­plete appli­ca­tion. Ser­vices include emer­gency food; emer­gency home repairs; finan­cial assis­tance; crit­i­cal baby items such as for­mu­la, food and dia­pers; vehi­cle repairs and dona­tions; fur­ni­ture; and house­hold items.

Oper­a­tion Home­front also oper­ates two Oper­a­tion Home­front Vil­lages that offer free tran­si­tion­al hous­ing where wound­ed war­riors can live with their fam­i­lies as they under­go treat­ment in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., or San Anto­nio.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)