USAA announced Thursday it will donate $30 million to 24 charitable organizations that support military families through economic hardships. 

As the largest one-time philanthropic contribution in USAA’s nearly 100-year history, the gift recognizes the impact that the COVID-19 health crisis has had on the military community, according to a statement from the company.

 “This gift honors the resolve and sacrifice of our military community as well as the challenges they face by making sure they and their families have the support they need,” stated Wayne Peacock, USAA president and CEO. “Caring for military families is our passion, whether it’s through serving our members or supporting military-related causes. We hope this contribution provides vital, long-lasting support to the military community at a time when they are essential to our nation’s recovery efforts.”

A quarter of active military families were separated from their service member due to deployment or crisis response missions during the first three months of the pandemic, according to research from the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative, which was sponsored by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. 

Thirty percent of military spouses are expected to experience unemployment, nearly three times the level of their civilian peers.

USAA will award $20 million to seven military aid societies and organizations, including the Army Emergency Relief, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Air Force Aid Society, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, We Care for America Foundation, and the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

Another $10 million will be granted to nonprofit organizations that enhance veteran and spouse employment prospects, assist with childcare costs for junior enlisted military families, and support virtual delivery of education and offer emotional support for children.

The funding will help military aid societies provide zero-interest loans and emergency grants to eligible service members and their families to assist with financial emergencies, virtual schooling costs, and college educational expenses.

In March, most of USAA’s 35,000 employees in 11 offices around the country began working remotely, a measure taken to help slow the virus’ spread and that will continue through the end of the year. The San Antonio-based company also contributed $1 million to help local organizations provide food, housing, blood, and other essential support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since April, the insurance giant has joined other major property and casualty insurers in returning dividends to policyholders as they drive less while travel restrictions remain in place. USAA has returned a total of $1 billion in dividends to its millions of policyholders and is offering payment assistance programs for eligible USAA members on credit cards, consumer loans, mortgages, and home equity loans and lines of credit. 

Disclosure: USAA is a financial supporter of the San Antonio Report. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions. For a full list of business members, click here.

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Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.