Fort McCoy News July 24, 2015

Fort McCoy ACS stands strong after 27 years

For more than 27 years, Fort McCoy Army Community Service (ACS) has been supporting Soldiers, civilians, and their Families.

For years, Army Families had operated lending closets, thrift shops, and nurseries; raised funds to help the needy; assisted in emergencies; taught and trained the inexperienced; and through a grassroots understanding of the Army community, contributed significantly to its stability. These social-service activities often disappeared or stagnated when their originators transferred or left the service.

ACS was designed to eliminate this adverse aspect and provide a flexible framework for the operation of a viable system of social services. The Fort McCoy ACS program was formed in January 1988. Services originally were provided completely by volunteers, who ran a lending closet and provided welcome packets for new personnel.

Throughout the years, Fort McCoy ACS has expanded, adding programs and staff members. The following programs are offered here:

• Army Emergency Relief, which provides emergency financial assistance to Soldiers and their Families.

• Army Family Action Plan, a suggestion program to improve the quality of life for military members and their Families through direct contact with senior leadership.

• Army Family Team Building, which offers fun, interactive training sessions targeting professional-development skills.

• Army Volunteer Corps, which provides the Fort McCoy community with volunteer opportunities that include, but are not limited to, administrative work, wildlife tracking, youth tutoring, and winter ski patrol.

• Deployment Readiness, which provides support throughout the deployment cycle. Military Family Life consultants are available to reduce family distress by providing free education, information, and support to military members and their Families.

• Exceptional Family Member Program, which offers program enrollment, re-enrollment, respite care, and advocacy services for Families with exceptional Family members.

• Family Advocacy Program (FAP), which is designed to enhance relationship skills and improve Family quality of life and dedicated to prevention, education, intervention, and treatment of Family violence. FAP provides Family education, support for new parents, and victim advocacy.

• Financial Readiness Program, which provides training sessions with a practical approach to financial management.

• Community Information Services (Information and Referral), which maintains a resource library on site and provides information on services and programs available to Soldiers and Families.

• Relocation Readiness Program, which provides pre- and post-move services, including welcome packets, outreach to waiting Families and foreign-born spouses, a Lending Closet (for short-term use of household items), Newcomer Orientation, and Sponsorship Training.

• Resilience Training, which is offered to Family members and civilian employees to provide real-life solutions for growing and thriving in the face of challenges.

• Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, which reinforces the Army's commitment to eliminate sexual assault and harassment through a comprehensive program that centers on awareness and prevention, training and education, victim advocacy, reporting options, and individual and systemic recovery.

• Spouse Employment Readiness, which provides services to spouses relocating with their service members. Services include local job listings, a resource library, computerized job searches, and resume assistance.

• Survivor Outreach Services, which offers access to support, information, and services to the Families of fallen Soldiers.

"The Fort McCoy ACS programs and staff support our Army Families in their goal to be Army Strong," said Becky Wapp Sawyer, director of ACS. "We look forward to being able to adapt to the needs of Army Families for generations to come."

For more information about Fort McCoy ACS services, programs, and classes, call 608-388-3505 or visit building 2111.

   (Article prepared by Army Community Service and the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)