Non-profit Operation Phantom Support in Killeen is in need of help.

Every year we do a Christmas toy drive OPS called Toys for Troops. This year we delivered the presents we collected thanks to your generous donations, and I had a chance to meet founder and CEO John Valentine. John is a 20 year Army veteran who now spends his time helping military families in a variety of ways.

John founded Operation Phantom Support with that goal in mind. From toy drives to running a food pantry, free birthday cake programs, backpack giveaways, and so much more. The work that John and Operation Phantom Support do goes a long way towards helping military families that are living paycheck to paycheck.

Valentine tells KCEN,

"We don’t look down on anybody who comes in here. We just help them, it doesn’t matter what rank they are, or what rank they were. What matters is they need help and that is what we try to accomplish.”

Now the non-profit is in need of our help once again. COVID-19 has led to a significant drop in donations. Valentine says, "If everyone could afford to donate one dollar each, we would be able to make it for another year."

Operation Phantom Support was able to get the Small Business PPE Loan from the government which enabled them to get through much of the pandemic, but are now seeing a decline in donations and are falling about $7,000 short every month. Those losses are putting Operation Phantom Support on the verge of closing.

Valentine says, “I would be heartbroken if we had to close because I put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this place. We have a lot of wonderful relationships and a lot of people who come here. They know us, and we know them. It is like we are family now.”

This is where we need to step up and help. The work they do for the families they help is much needed. Every bit helps. If you have it to give, please do. Visit their website for details on how you can donate.

Again, OPS is all about helping military, veteran, and first responder families right here in Central Texas. They operate a thrift shop at 401 N 8th Street in Killeen. They also hold Saturday food pantry events that serve meals and take-home food supplies for families in need.

OPS also hosts events to help veterans with legal issues, finding and getting the most of the benefits they earned with their service, and learning to manage their finances.

In addition to what they do in their building out in Killeen, OPS has also offered activities for families such as fishing days when there wasn't a pandemic on.

Basically, this is a group run by a local veteran for local veterans that's done so much good for our community. John's got a big heart and works day and night to make sure veteran and first responder families in the Fort Hood area aren't left behind.

If you're able to donate this time, please do so at phantomsupport.org/donate.

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