Today, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) announced a total investment of $1.9 million awarded to 13 organizations with programs that serve veterans, service members, and their families. These grants invest in improving veteran and caregiver health and wellness, supporting veteran and military family transition into civilian communities, and addressing the acute and critical needs of veterans impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
This announcement marks the first series of grants the Bob Woodruff Foundation will provide in 2020. In the coming weeks, BWF will be announcing additional funding related to COVID-19 emergency support, addressing needs defined in BWF’s research paper “Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of America’s Veterans.”
“Always resilient through adversity, our veterans now face a new threat on the homefront — COVID-19 has rapidly created a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges for our veterans, from increased financial risk to exacerbated mental health concerns,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “Our investment in best-in-class programs is more important than ever – our team and our partners pivoted immediately to help ensure that vital services can continue to support the short and long-term wellness of our veterans and their families.”
Continuing our efforts as an NFL Salute To Service partner, BWF has teamed up again with the NFL Foundation to invest in programs that promote healthy lifestyles and foster greater community engagement with the veteran population. In March, the NFL Foundation also made one of the first major efforts to deliver coronavirus relief funding to organizations supporting vulnerable populations across the country. This series of BWF grants include beneficiaries of those NFL COVID-19 funds. To date, BWF has provided over $4 million dollars in NFL-BWF grants to organizations nationwide.
This portfolio also includes grants made possible by the Qatar Harvey Fund. As part of a two-year $6 million partnership to support vulnerable veterans living in Hurricane Harvey-impacted Texas, BWF has shaped three grants to programs providing urgent support in the areas of mental health, employment, and homelessness.
To support veteran rehabilitation and recovery, BWF is funding several clinical mental health programs. As a continuation of BWF’s investment in building of a national network of expertly trained mental health clinicians who are qualified to treat combat-related PTSD, a BWF grant will help train clinicians to address nightmares and insomnia; additional support will provide resiliency counseling to military and veteran families.
BWF is investing in programs that take a range of approaches to ensure overall veteran health and wellness, from providing emergency legal services to financial coaching. Several programs provide direct case management for veterans by responsibly providing financial coaching and direct financial assistance to help ensure families can endure through the current crisis. Other programs are addressing the need for virtual social connection and support, with programming adapted due to coronavirus-related social distancing restrictions.
In light of the financial and employment risk that veterans face due to COVID-19, BWF is also placing a renewed emphasis on veteran employment programs. Programs that are providing limited services during COVID-19 will now be prepared, with BWF funding, for a quick-start to address dire veteran employment needs as soon as circumstances permit.
“Many of our veterans and their families now serve as frontline workers and first responders, answering the call again here at home,” said Dave Woodruff, co-founder and co-chairman of the Bob Woodruff Foundation Board of Directors. “We will stand with them, supporting the programs that help them face their service-related challenges and those related to the COVID outbreak – now and into the future.”
For a full and detailed list of Bob Woodruff Foundation’s 2020 Spring Grants recipients, visit here.
To learn more about qualifying for a Bob Woodruff Foundation grant, please visit https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/grants/.