444 Henningsville, PA, Mertztown, PA, 19539
About Us
Our Inspiration
The Jarett Yoder Foundation was established in April 2013 by Diane Yoder in memory of her son Jarett, an Apache Helicopter pilot for the Army National Guard who was killed in action. As a way of coping with the heartbreak of her son's death, Diane decided to give back to the community in a meaningful way. Under the name “Operation Heroes”, the Jarett Yoder Foundation works to create a brighter future for service personnel whose lives have met with unfortunate circumstances.
Jarett's Story
Jarett Yoder's commitment to serving others and making a difference in his community began when he was just a teenager. While attending Oley Valley High School he served as a Junior Volunteer Firefighter. In this role, Jarett learned many skills that would serve him well later, including first aid. As an animal lover, Jarett also rescued dogs at accident and fire scenes and took them home to heal.

After graduating in 2005, Jarett joined the Kutztown Unit (C-111th) of the Army National Guard, completing his first tour of duty in infantry. He then switched to Aviation and served his second tour as an Apache Helicopter pilot. Jarett was killed in action on April 9, 2013, while flying his helicopter during his last deployment in Iraq.
Our Mission
The Jarett Yoder Foundation endeavors to empower and improve the overall well-being of community heroes in need. We "serve those who served us" by sponsoring a wide range of programs and services that help to reshape their lives and brighten their futures. We call this Operation Heroes.

As part of our ongoing mission, the foundation helps local heroes with:
Case Management Services
  • Applying for medical assistance
  • Applying for financial assistance and food stamps
  • Applying for VA benefits (if they qualify)
Life and Work Skills
  • Life skill classes to achieve independent living
  • Work skills to access employment opportunities
  • Financial classes to achieve financial independence
  • Peer-to-peer specialist programs
  • Scholarships
Day-to-Day Living
  • Transportation
  • Finding affordable housing
  • Acquiring service animals
  • Volunteer services to aid local communities
With numerous Patriot Houses in 11 counties throughout Pennsylvania, the Jarett Yoder Foundation currently houses 509 community members and their families. Our food pantry serves up meals to over 500 families each week.

The foundation also hosts a range of events year-round, including musical concerts, annual community hero awards, life skill and cooking classes, community food drives, Easter egg hunt, Christmas festivities, and more.