The Bob Woodruff Foundation has much to be proud of as it reflects on the year that was 2016. Beyond celebrating its namesake’s 10th Alive Day in January, and the 10th annual Stand Up for Heroes last month, the foundation has awarded more than $4.4 million to veteran-serving nonprofits across the country—continuing to ensure best in class solutions to helping injured veterans, service members and their families.
“This was a year filled with milestones but more importantly it was an opportunity to demonstrate that our mission is as relevant today as it was a decade ago,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “While the numbers of new injuries are declining, and employment for veterans is on the rise, there are unique challenges facing returning service members and their families, and we remain singularly focused and committed to meeting those needs.”
Founded in 2006, the Bob Woodruff Foundation creates long-lasting, positive outcomes for our nation’s wounded, ill and injured veterans, service members and their families, by finding, funding and shaping initiatives that enrich the lives of these heroes.
This year’s grants were awarded to 47 programs, addressing specific issue areas that are emerging or insufficiently supported by the public and private sector, and identified as strategic priorities for the Bob Woodruff Foundation to fund.
Another highlight of the year was the development and execution of the BWF In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Fund, designed to assist the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 service members who sustained genitourinary or other injuries that may affect fertility.
Remaining at the tip of the spear in helping veterans with their legal challenges, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, alongside the American Bar Association and Army One Source, organized a coalition of legal providers, experts, and stakeholders from across the country to lay the groundwork for the creation of a National Military and Veteran Legal Services Network.
Additionally, BWF continued its support of the Warrior Games, an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Approximately 250 athletes participated, representing teams from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command and the United Kingdom Armed Forces.
Much of the organization’s support came from the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes, in partnership with the New York Comedy Festival, which raised a record-breaking $6.4 million. It did so thanks to the support of its performers: Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart; and sponsors, including Veterans on Wall Street, founding sponsor GFI Group Inc., and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
The foundation was guided in its efforts by an esteemed board, bolstered by the addition of retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and James Hnat, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of JetBlue Airways.
Looking ahead to 2017, the foundation will build upon its successes—grounded in replicating the long-term support network and commitment the Woodruff family had during Bob’s recovery—while continuing to evolve with the needs of those impacted.
“Our work goes beyond meeting the present needs of today’s veterans,” said Dougherty. “The Bob Woodruff Foundation has its sights set on the future, as there are still troops in harm’s way and many long-term needs will not be realized for years after the wars are over.”
To learn how you can support the Bob Woodruff Foundation as it looks toward its next decade of serving post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families, visit www.BobWoodruffFoundation.org.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested more than $35 million to find, fund and shape programs that have empowered more than 2.5 million impacted veterans, service members and their families. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.