SA woman sues charity she started
Amy Palmer, Operation Homefront at odds
Amy Palmer said she was betrayed by the national charity organization she helped start, wrongly fired and then blamed for missing donations that were meant for military veterans and their families.
11 years ago, Palmer helped start Operation Homefront. What was once an all volunteer organization out of Palmer’s garage has grown to 115 employees and more than 4,500 volunteers.
"We were able to see a lot of families, their lives changed as a result of Operation Homefront," said Palmer.
In her home’s office, Palmer has pictures, awards and memories from her time with the charity.
She met Presidents, performers and the Dalai Lama. But it’s the families she helped that make her split with Operation Homefront a painful one.
"You know, it just, I mean it hurts, it's just like, you know it's part of my family, that is now not part of my family anymore," said Palmer.
Palmer was the face of the organization, providing food, money, all kinds of help to military families.
All that changed in September when she was fired.
Operation Homefront said there were $36,000 in discrepancies with goods meant for military families. The story was picked up by the national media.
"The first thing when I saw it was like, oh no, my family's going to see this my daughter's going to see this, and people are going to see this that I'm close to and think this is the kind of person I am. People who know me, know that's not me, and that's not the kind of person that I am," said Palmer.
Palmer is now in the position of trying to clear her name.
In three months, she has gone from co-founder to fighting Operation Homefront. She also filed suit against the charity and two of its executive officers, alleging wrongful termination and defamation.
"The evidence will reveal that Amy did nothing wrong," said Palmer’s attorney Melissa Morales-Fletcher.
A member of a military family herself, Amy still believes deeply in Operation Homefront's mission. What's still a mystery to her is how something that was her passion turned so quickly to pain.
"It's still my child, I mean Operation Homefront is still my baby. I don't wish them ill will. They do so much for people, I would never want that for them, but I couldn't let myself be brought down with it," said Palmer.
In a statement sent to KSAT, Operation Homefront said that "while an investigation is ongoing, we have no indications that this situation involves any cash or other donated items."
The statement also states that in regards to the lawsuit, "we believe the allegations to be without merit, and will defend the organization vigorously."
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