How FEEA helps feds and their families

Tuesday - 8/17/2010, 1:21pm EDT

!YOUR_TURN_08-18-2010.mp3

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August 17, 2010 -- Did you know the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund has been helping to send kids to college for years now?

They are a the feds-helping-feds charity that takes care of government workers and their families after hurricanes, floods and natural disasters.

Today we learn all about the program and hear some great success stories from Steve Bauer, executive director of FEEA.

He explains how FEEA has helped thousands of feds and their families over the years, including after the domestic terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City.

"It was a day that certainly will live in infamy -- April 19, 1995. After the terrorist bombing, because of what we do at FEEA -- which is provide scholarships and emergency assistance to federal employees -- I was on a plane to Oklahoma City the next day. We set up at the First Christian Church right near the Murrow building where the survivors and the families of those who didn't survive were gathered as they dug through the rubble. . . . We were spending a lot of money helping people to, unfortunately, bury a loved one [and] sometimes to bring relatives in for the funeral."

FEEA didn't just provide that immediate emotional support and financial relief, however. Bauer says that the organization is not only there for feds right after the disaster or attack, but helps families throughout the course of their lives.

After their efforts in Oklahoma City, FEEA began to get donations from all over the country.

"Money was coming in and it looked like we were going to actually bring in more money than what we needed to provide immediate relief to the families and get them through the first couple of days and weeks and months. So, we decided to set up a scholarship program . . . Not realizing at the time that we were setting up a program that ultimately would put 200 kids through college."

The tuition is always paid in full. Bauer says he's spoken to dozens of kids who now have degrees who say they are just happy that someone remembers that federal employees are people with families.

FEEA, of course, was also present after 9/11 and was available after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Bauer says you can help FEEA during the Combined Federal Campaign by donating to #11185.

There is also information about how non-feds can donate here.