The History of ReserveAid
ReserveAid was founded by Lucas Detor, a former Secret Service agent turned financial services executive. When Lucas’ old National Guard unit was deployed to the war in Iraq, he began to hear stories about how his friends were struggling under the strain of supporting their families with a reduced salary and limited savings. His heart truly broke when, at the holidays, he learned that many of the families had no money to buy gifts for their children.
Realizing that these soldiers were not the only ones in need, Lucas felt an obligation to do something. He recruited three close friends and set off on a mission. Together with the help of many pro-bono advisors and supporters, they created an organization dedicated to assisting families experiencing the often dire consequences of husbands, wives, fathers and mothers leaving their jobs and homes to serve our country.
When ReserveAid was born in 2006, the founding board sought to raise as much money as possible and then, with the idealism of the young, to give it away. Assistance for groceries, tires, mufflers and a new front door were among the many grants provided in the beginning days of the organization. As the fundraising and grant disbursement grew, the board, and a significant founding donor, recognized the need for infrastructure.
Office space, generously provided by Highland Capital Management’s NexBank, was filled in 2007 by a former Master Gunnery Sergeant from the United States Marine Corps, Polly Weidenkopf. Polly, ReserveAid’s Executive Director, hit the ground running and began providing outstanding leadership and coordination to the growing organization. She provides the operational backbone that allows ReserveAid to coordinate thousands of grant requests, and ensure that needs are met as quickly, efficiently, and compassionately as possible. In addition, ReserveAid has expanded its board, bringing a range of skills and networks necessary to address an issue growing in magnitude.
Today, ReserveAid continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of a service population that is experiencing significant physical injury, mental health issues, and multiple deployments. The board takes great pride in the organization’s ability to meet immediate and critical needs for families that do not have time for red tape as well as innovate long-term solutions for individuals who have suffered irreparable changes as a result of service. At the same time, ReserveAid recognizes that the needs are great, and the organization’s contribution is small. With that in mind, the board continues to seek ways to provide grants that promote sustainable solutions for individuals and families in distress.
Most recently, ReserveAid is forging partnerships with organizations such as MediSend, providing opportunities for Reservists to obtain an education in the field of Biomedical Technology as well as organizations that provide housing for severely disabled veterans.