Supporting the Families of Our Fallen Colleagues

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has received many calls and e-mails from members asking how they can assist the families and honor the memories of our colleagues who were lost in Benghazi. AFSA has compiled options to commemorate the lives and work of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Information Programs Officer Sean Smith, and U.S. embassy employees Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty.

1. Donate to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) Diplomatic Fund to specifically help Sean Smith’s and/or Tyrone Woods’ children meet their future college costs.

  • Go to http://www.feea.org/GiveDiplomatic. Enter a gift amount, your contact information, agency and/or sub agency and mark any individual it is intended for.
  • At the next screen, enter your credit card information and click on the submit button.

2. Donate to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) Diplomatic Fund established to fund college scholarships for children of diplomats slain by terrorists.

  • Go to http://www.feea.org/GiveDiplomatic. Enter a gift amount, your contact information, agency and/or sub agency and click the submit button.
  • At the next screen, enter your credit card information and click the submit button.

Background on the FEEA Diplomatic Fund

In 2008, AFSA made a $37,500 donation, matched by the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, to help meet the education needs of our fallen diplomats’ children. FEEA’s Diplomatic Fund was originally established by the Department of State and the Department of Defense in August 1995 to help the families of three individuals who were killed while on a diplomatic mission in Bosnia. The Federal Diplomatic Family Assistance Fund-Africa was added after the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. A $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in December 2004 increased the funding available for these scholarships.

This shared education fund is helping pay the costs of a college education for the children of the 12 Americans killed in the 1998 bombings, and will now do so for the children who lost a parent in the 2012 Libya terrorist acts. Annual grants to students were increased to $8,500 per year after the fundraising campaign in 2008. The goal of the fund is to raise enough money to provide full scholarships to the students currently identified, as well as to make the same promise to students who lose a diplomatic parent to terrorism in the future. All donations are tax deductible.

3. Donate to the AFSA Scholarship Fund for a college scholarship bestowed on a child of a Foreign Service employee in memory of the U.S. diplomats slain in Libya.

  • On AFSA’s web page, www.afsa.org/scholar under the Support the Scholarship Fund section, click on “Donate to the AFSA Scholarship Fund [donation form].” On the form, in the “in memory of” line, mark “Libya U.S. Diplomats Scholarship.”  For those wanting to make a tax-deductible donation via a check, it should be payable to the “AFSA Scholarship Fund” with “Libya U.S. Diplomats” in the memo line and sent to AFSA, 2101 E Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037.

4. Donate to Network for Good to support religious tolerance, cultural understanding, educational youth exchanges and other people-to-people programs between the people of the United States and Middle Eastern countries.

5. Donate to YouCaring.com to help Sean Smith’s family directly.

6. Donate to the Smith Family through the U.S. Embassy in the Hague.

  • U.S. Embassy The Hague has set up a fund to assist the Smith family. Donors can make electronic contributions to the Deutsche Bank.  The account will remain open until the end of December at which time all proceeds will be transferred to the Smiths’ local account.  Contact Arjen Brusse at BrusseA@state.gov for assistance in making a donation.

7. Donate to a fund benefiting Kai Woods, the infant son of Dorothy and Tyrone Woods for any of his K-12 education expenses, youth sports programs, youth camps, etc.

  • Individuals can make donations payable to “Ty Woods Memorial Account” and send them to the following address:c/o The Irving Group, 4320 LaJolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA  92122.

8. Donate to help Glen Doherty’s family defray his unexpectedly high funeral costs.

  • Glen’s funeral cost in excess of $25,000. Because there were thousands of mourners; the wake needed to be moved from the funeral home to a church, tents needed to be erected because of inclement weather, and other associated costs were incurred. Contact Lori Dec, AFSA Scholarship Director at (202) 944 5504 or dec@afsa.org for further information on making a contribution.

9. Donate to www.glendohertyfoundation.org to help provide scholarships for Special Operation Professionals, scholarships for these individuals’ children along with Foreign Service Officers’ children whose parent was slain or suffered a catastrophic injury to attend outdoor, recreation camps.

Finally, if individuals have any questions on the above funds, please contact Lori Dec, Scholarship Director, AFSA, 2101 E Street NW, Washington, D.C., (202) 944-5504, fax (202) 338-6820, dec@afsa.org.

Thank you for your generosity!

Susan R. Johnson
AFSA President