Sport Clips Haircuts’ mission to provide active-duty military and veterans support for their post-military career goals was accomplished today when the franchise announced 43 scholarships for the spring semester. Sport Clips locations across the nation raised funds totaling $500,000 through its annual “Help A Hero” campaign, benefiting the Veterans of Foreign Wars-administered “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” program. Through this contribution, Sport Clips and the VFW expect to provide more than 60 additional scholarships for the fall 2014 semester for which service members can now apply through April 30 at VFW.org/scholarship.

Since 2007, the Sport Clips Help A Hero campaign has supported the VFW’s Operation Uplink™ “Free Call Days,” making more than 2 million calls home possible for deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members. In this, its seventh year, the campaign expanded its focus to offer scholarships of up to $5,000 to active-duty military and veterans who are pursuing an education at post-secondary institutions, including trade schools.

 Donations to Help A Hero were collected in stores and at local fundraising events in the fall of 2013 with efforts culminating November 11, Veterans Day, on Sport Clips’ “Biggest Haircut Day of the Year.” Stores donated a dollar from every haircut service to the scholarship program, and sponsors John Paul Mitchell Systems and Nioxin each contributed $10,000 to the effort.

 “Reading just one of our Help A Hero scholarship recipients’ thank you notes is all it takes to recognize the need for this support as well as the generosity of our Sport Clips clients, team members, and supporters,” says Sport Clips Founder and CEO Gordon Logan, a U.S. Air Force veteran and lifetime member of the VFW. “Sport Clips continues to be a proud supporter of phone calls home through the VFW’s Operation Uplink, but we’re excited to be able to expand our focus to include scholarships, which will support our nation’s heroes and their families in the next chapter of their lives.”

 “Student veterans can only stretch GI Bill benefits so far,” says VFW Commander-in-Chief Bill Thien. “We’ve heard from several active-duty service members and veterans that their financial needs aren’t being met to start or return to school for traditional, technical and advanced degrees. And, we’re learning that the scholarships we’re giving will allow them to pursue their education, when it otherwise would have been a financial struggle.”

 Sport Clips is the Official Haircutter of the VFW, and its Help A Hero campaign is just one of the many ways it supports active-duty military and veterans. To find out more, visit your local Sport Clips or SportClips.com.