The Bob Woodruff Foundation will close out 2014 stronger than ever, having invested more than $5 million in programs and organizations serving post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families.
This includes $1.3 million in grants announced today for nearly a dozen nonprofits, helping with: veteran entrepreneurship; community impact; vocational training; transportation; caregiver peer-support; nursing scholarships; and life-coaches for severely injured veterans.
“The needs of those injured in combat will last long after the wars are over,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for the support received over this past year, which positions us well to continue our efforts to find, fund and shape innovative programs that meet the needs of our injured veterans and their families.”
Overall, 34 organizations received financial grants from the Bob Woodruff Foundation throughout the year.
The year was kicked-off by a $1 million donation from the PepsiCo Foundation to support a nationwide “Veterans Helping Veterans” initiative, to help service men and women reconnect with their communities while continuing to serve their fellow troops.
For example, grants to the Mission Continues and Team Red, White and Blue helped both organizations develop leadership training. Warrior Canine Connection received support to help veterans recover from their own wounds, by training service dogs for fellow injured veterans.
Much of the organization’s support came from the 8th Annual Stand Up for Heroes, in partnership with the New York Comedy Festival, which raised a record-breaking $6 million while using comedy and music to raise awareness. It did so thanks to the support of several sponsors, including Veterans on Wall Street, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, and founding sponsor GFI Group, Inc.
Additionally, the first-ever Dine Out for Heroes enlisted the culinary talents of nearly 200 New York restaurants which donated $1 for every customer served the day of Stand Up for Heroes. The event was spearheaded by Caroline Hirsch, Andrew Fox, and Peter and Penny Glazier, founders of the Glazier Group of restaurants, which includes Michael Jordan’s The Steak House NYC in Grand Central Terminal.
Beyond grants, the Bob Woodruff Foundation supported several events including the annual Warrior Games in Colorado, and first-ever Invictus Games in London. Hosted by Prince Harry, Invictus brought together injured and ill athletes, from 13 nations, to compete in adaptive sports and demonstrate that their wounds do not define them.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation also held two, High Impact Collaboration™ Series convenings, designed to spotlight leading-edge advances in select fields and to generate strategic partnerships among government, military, nonprofit and corporate stakeholders.
The most recent, Intimacy After Injury, explored issues relating to combat injuries on sexual health, intimacy and fertility. It was held this month in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Military & Veterans Health Institute, and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. A report will be issued in January.
In June, A New Role for Man’s Best Friend, brought experts together to discuss the role service dogs can play to help treat psychological wounds Its findings can be found on the foundation’s website.
“We know that there is not a one-size fits all solution to help post-9/11 veterans and families,” said Dougherty. “We have honed the ability to cut through the noise, to become a model for success.”
In doing so, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has emerged as a leader in the veteran space, as evidenced by the growing support of corporate leaders like Veterans on Wall Street, a consortium of financial firms. Bob Woodruff was a featured speaker at their annual conference.
The foundation was also recognized as one of the featured nonprofits at the historic Concert for Valor, hosted by HBO, Starbucks and Chase, on Veterans Day.
Since 2006, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $25 million in finding and funding programs across the country. It has reached more than 2 million injured service members, veterans and their families in three key areas: Education and Employment; Rehabilitation and Recovery; and Quality of Life. Learn more about the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s impact online at www.BobWoodruffFoundation.org.
Grants announced today:
Education and Employment:
Farmer Veteran Coalition
National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
Geographic Reach: National
The National Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference was the first ever attempt to bring together 200 individual and organizational stakeholders, from 40 states, to find veterans career opportunities and healing spaces on American farms. The event increases coordination and collaboration between agricultural and veteran service providers; provides educational workshops on assistance to farmer veterans; and facilitates potential policy proposals.
Veteran Career Development Program
Geographic Reach: New York & Seattle
The Four Block Career Development Program provides transitioning post-9/11 enlisted service members with the essential tools to obtain competitive internships and full-time positions at companies or organizations that match their interests, attributes and strengths. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will enable Four Block to invest in their program directors, allowing them to continue to provide a meaningful and supportive program to transitioning veterans in New York City and Seattle.
Home Builders Institute (HBI)
Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT)
Geographic Reach: Fort Stewart, Ga.
HBI, the national leader for career training in the building industry, will offer its award-winning Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) to soon-to-transition active duty military serving at the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Stewart, GA and to unemployed and under-employed veteran populations in the Greater Savannah area. HBI students will learn marketable skills through classroom instruction, and real work experience on community service construction projects. The “open entry, skilled exit” program takes an average of 12 weeks to complete.
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
2014 EBV Business Startup Grants – National Conference
Geographic Reach: National
While EBV is able to leverage alumni, as well as in kind support for services such as marketing and legal advice, access to start-up capital is an obstacle. Through the “Bob Woodruff Foundation Business Startup Grant,” graduates will submit a completed business plan, and a panel will select the top ten. These veterans will pitch their plan at the annual EBV National Alumni and Training Conference. Grants will be awarded to the top three pitches as well as three specialty categories: the business with the potential to have the greatest social impact on veterans and their families; best social venture; and best technology venture.
Texas Veterans Transition Program
Geographic Reach: Texas
Now in its 7th year, the Texas Veterans Transition Program’s goal is to empower veterans and their families to attain and sustain robust and satisfying vocational, family and civic lives. It aids in transition with supportive services such as personal and family counseling, and legal and financial advising, to promote upward sustainability. The program’s expansion this next year will emphasize targeted vocational programs with recognized certifications, as well as onboarding services with cooperating companies, and an entrepreneurship program specifically designed to support veterans as they start their own business ventures.
100 Entrepreneurs Foundation, Inc.
Geographic Reach: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center & Fort Belvoir
100 Entrepreneurs Foundation’s mission is to expand the employment horizons of wounded and transitioning service members and their families. 100 Entrepreneurs holds classes in the hospital, followed by mentorship, focused on entrepreneurship, industry, and business functions. This helps participants build their own businesses or find a meaningful career in the industry of their choice.
Rehabilitation and Recovery:
Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare
Veterans Healthcare Scholar Program
Geographic Reach: National
The Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar Program supports nurses who are obtaining advanced degrees (Ph. D. and DNP) focused on the healthcare needs of veterans. The work of these scholars—175 in 35 states to date — will improve the care and understanding of both veterans and their families. The Jonas Center’s overall methodology in this program is to “train the trainer,” creating a series of concentric circles around each advanced practice nurse, that will spread their expertise to thousands of patients, healthcare workers and future nurses.
SHARE Military Initiative
Geographic Reach: Atlanta
The SHARE Military Initiative provides a comprehensive continuum of care, specifically tailored to meet the needs of each client; this includes complimentary housing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, speech therapy, therapeutic recreation and legal, financial and psychological counseling, among other programs. With the support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, SHARE is able to provide a life coach to work with each of their military patients, both while receiving treatment at the Shepherd Center and once they transition back to their homes, families and communities.
Quality of Life:
The Mission Continues
Service Platoon Summit\
Geographic Reach: National
The Mission Continues empowers veterans who face the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions by deploy their skills and leadership in meaningful ways within their communities. This Bob Woodruff Foundation grant made it possible to bring together the leaders of Service Platoons to capture best practices, and develop case studies that will be shared with new Platoon Leaders and Squad Leaders through training and ongoing support in the upcoming year.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
Military and Veteran Caregiver Peer Support Network:
Community-based Peer Support Group Program
Geographic Reach: National
Based on the successful model of evidence-based peer support used by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to assist families of the fallen for over 20 years, the Military and Veteran Caregiver Peer Support Network will help address the high rate of isolation experienced among the 1.1 million caregivers of post-9/11 injured veterans. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will enable the Network to create and disseminate training modules and protocols to support the Community-based Peer Support Group Program in ten pilot communities. These pilot groups will be evaluated for their impact on caregivers’ sense of connectedness, engagement and hopefulness.