Military families struggling with finances get help from nonprofit

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SAN DIEGO — Over 200 military families were able to get what was on their Christmas wish list this weekend in Scripps Ranch thanks to a nonprofit organization.

Support the Enlisted Project, or STEP, was created nine years ago to help military families who are struggling with their finances. 

“You are taking people with already poor financial habits, and putting them in increased family pressures and increased work stressors, and that is what you get with that military families,” said Tony Teraveinen, CEO of STEP. 

Teraveinen says the holiday distribution wouldn’t be possible without volunteers, partners and donors. 

“We want to be able to get ahead of that and help them get their arms around their finances, so they don’t need to worry about finances anymore and they can check that off their list,” he said.

Sailor Dixie Dominguez says she is thankful for organizations like STEP. 

“STEP, they are like, a wish that we didn’t really wish for, that are here to just support us, help us,” she said. 

Dominguez is one of the 200 families who received gifts this weekend.  

“We don’t like asking for help, but programs like STEP come through and just support us,” she said. “It’s very helpful, and we can’t thank them enough.”

Retired U.S Navy Veteran, Tracy Owens, is the program manager for STEP and says it’s important to support military families during the holidays. 

“Our military families support and defend our country,” Owens said. “They take care of us, so we can sleep safely in our beds at night. It’s important to take care of them, to make sure they are mission ready and focused on what they need to do to support and defend our country.”

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