Elizabeth Dole Foundation and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Expand Emergency Veteran Caregiver Respite Program Nationally with Wounded Warrior Project Gift

Elizabeth Dole Foundation and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Expand Emergency Veteran Caregiver Respite Program Nationally with Wounded Warrior Project Gift

by Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Stripes Japan

Wounded Warrior Project’s $1 million gift doubles respite care fund, now available to caregivers in Florida, Texas, California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, and others soon.

Washington, DC (September 22, 2020) ⎯The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the expansion of Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers, an emergency fund of no-cost, short-term respite care for veteran caregivers struggling under COVID-19. CareLinx, a nationwide professional home care network, helped launch the fund with the donation of $1 million worth of services. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) recently contributed an additional $1 million to increase the number of available care hours, leading to a national expansion. The Foundation expects to provide 75,000 hours of care to more than 3,000 veteran caregivers. 

“Since the Foundation first began its work, we have seen the desperate need for short-term relief among veteran caregivers. The lack of affordable, convenient professional respite care takes a significant toll on the emotional and physical well-being of these hidden heroes and the limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic have further reduced their respite options,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “We are grateful to Wounded Warrior Project for adding their support that is helping us respond to this urgent need. Because of WWP, we are expanding this program nationally, to areas where caregivers need support most.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain veteran caregivers who have lost the in-person support of family and friends because of social distancing regulations and the vulnerability of their veterans. Even as states begin re-opening, some of the nation’s most critically wounded or ill veterans and their caregivers will have a long journey back to the pre-pandemic world as their vulnerable immune systems require families to take every precaution against exposure. 

“Caregivers charged with caring for our nation’s Veterans face new challenges during the pandemic. They are becoming increasingly isolated without their pre-pandemic support, and are hindered from getting reliable outside help,” said U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This compassionate and thoughtful program will give them some much-needed relief during this stressful time.” 

The Respite Relief program offers qualifying veteran caregivers approximately 24-hours of respite care or assistance for their veteran from a qualified in-home care professional in CareLinx’s network. The provided care professionals can perform tasks such as mobility assistance, transportation, bathing, and other activities of daily living as well as other needs including companionship, grocery shopping, and cooking. 

"Caregivers are the reason many of our nation’s most seriously wounded, ill, and injured warriors can live independently at home," said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. "Caregivers selflessly give so much of themselves. We’re proud to support Elizabeth Dole Foundation as they work to ensure our nation’s caregivers get the resources, care, and support they need to take care of themselves so they can continue caring for our nation’s heroes." 

Services are rolling out nationwide and are currently available in the regions noted below. Military and veteran caregivers not currently residing in these locations are encouraged to register on the site for potential future service expansion. 


  • Alameda County 
  • Santa Clara County 
  • Los Angeles County 
  • Orange County 
  • San Diego County 
  • City of Riverside 
  • City of San Bernardino 


  • Harris County 
  • Dallas County 
  • Bexar County 
  • Travis County 


  • Hillsborough County 
  • Miami-Dade County 
  • Duval County 

Additional Cities 

  • Seattle, Wash. 
  • Indianapolis, Ind. 
  • Philadelphia, Pa. 
  • Portland, Ore. 

Individuals seeking to learn more about the Respite Relief Fund should contact RespiteRelief@elizabethdolefoundation.org
Eligibility Requirements: 

  1. You must be a family caregiver to a wounded, ill, or injured veteran or service member (and submit proof of service). 
  2. Requested relief support includes one of the following: companionship, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, toileting, bathing, dressing and grooming. Services do not include types of specialized medical care. 
  3. The military/veteran family must seek respite care relief in one of the zip codes listed on the application available at hiddenheroes.org/respite. 

AARP and Bob Woodruff Foundation have also joined as key collaborators for this effort to help spread the word to military and veteran caregivers. For more information, please visit hiddenheroes.org/respite. 

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