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

Monday, April 27th 2020, 4:23 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa group is helping military families who are struggling financially because of COVID-19.

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

Countless families across Oklahoma are financially struggling because many businesses across the state have been closed for weeks now. Stimulus checks and small business loans don't quite cut it for many who have kids.

It’s why Soldiers Wish Board Member Mark Tedford said they wanted to step in to help.

"What we found was, other organizations to help veterans, they had a lot of criteria, that people fell through the cracks," Tedford said.

The non-profit is based in Tulsa but has granted wishes for military families in more than two dozen states. This week they started handing out grocery cards to families in need.

Soldiers Wish has approved 30 cards worth 250 dollars each but will give out more if needed.

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

Lalicker's husband, Marc, served with the Coast Guard in Virginia, Florida, and Washington, before they moved to Coweta. She said the money for groceries is a blessing.

"Obviously everything is crazy right now with COVID-19," Natalie Alexander said.

Alexander and her husband Benjamin both worked in the corporate offices for McNellies and have been furloughed. Benjamin served in the Navy as a search and rescue swimmer.

"We are just another veteran family trying to do well in our community, and we really appreciate Soldiers Wish so much for helping all of the veterans in the Tulsa Metro area and Oklahoma," Alexander said.

They both hope everything will soon be able to go back to normal, safely. Tedford said they're ready to help people like the Lalickers and Alexanders, even when that does happen.

"The military personnel is fighting for our freedoms, and it's good to give them the feeling that they're not alone, that there's 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," Tedford said.