Tulsa Group Helps Military Families Struggling After Coronavirus Furloughs, Lay-Offs

Sunday, April 26th 2020, 3:52 pm
By: Erick Payne

Tulsa, OK -

A Tulsa group is helping military families who are struggling due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Soldier's Wish is donating grocery cards to families who have been laid off or furloughed.

While stimulus checks and small business loans have been a temporary boost, Soldier’s Wish board member Mark Tedford said they wanted to make a lasting impact for struggling families.

"What we found was other organizations to help veterans had a lot of criteria,” Tedford said. “People fell through the cracks.”

The non-profit is based in Tulsa but has granted wishes for military families in more than two dozen states.

Soldier’s Wish has approved 30 cards worth $250 each but will give out more if needed.

Christina Lalicker's husband, Marc, served with the Coast Guard in Virginia, Florida, and Washington, before they moved to Coweta.

Lalicker said the money for groceries is a blessing.

"I'm truly, truly grateful," Lalicker said.

Natalie Alexander and her husband, Benjamin, both worked in the corporate offices for McNellie’s and were furloughed.

Benjamin served in the Navy as a search and rescue swimmer.

"Obviously, everything is crazy right now with COVID-19," Alexander said. “We are just another veteran family trying to do well in our community. We really appreciate Soldier’s Wish so much for helping all of the veterans in the Tulsa metro area and Oklahoma.”

Tedford said they're ready to help people like the Lalickers and Alexanders during and after the pandemic.

"The military personnel is fighting for our freedoms,” Tedford said. “It's good to give them the feeling that they're not alone. There are people who do care and they're out there to help them and make sure they're taken care of at least for their basic needs.”