The Rumsfeld Foundation has ended another year of their Annual 12 Days, 12 Ways To Give Holiday Giving Countdown and announce the lucky charities who received some additional support and recognition, before the end of the year.
The organizations who receive recognition and support with this Holiday Giving Countdown were chosen for the impact they have had in their communities or the groups of people they help out, around the globe, nationally and internationally. The organizations range from organizations who help out wounded warriors, who provide mobile banking services to a poor community, to an entrepreneur who needed a micro-loan for their organization to continue to offer their services.
Starting December 9, 2014 the Rumsfeld Foundation featured one organization per day as the countdown began and ended on the 21st with their 12th organization identified.
It is not too late to make a donation before the end of the year if you find one of these organizations worthy of your support.
The first organization to be recognized on this 12 day celebration was the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund. This organization provides scholarships to the sons and daughters of fallen soldiers. The Mission of the Freedom Alliance is; to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense.
The Alliance has three main program areas which the scholarship fund falls under and they are; Supporting Our Troops where they recognize the efforts of our military personnel by honoring and helping them and their families in times of need and by hosting events to show their appreciation, The Center for Sovereignty and Security is the public policy division who help to educate the public on how important the protection of our national sovereignty and the promotion of our national defense are, and the Scholarship Fund itself.
The main purpose of the Scholarship Fund is to provide financial support to the siblings of military personnel who; have lost their lives or who have received a permanent disability during a military mission or training exercise. The purposes of the fund are to help with the rising cost of education past the 12th grade level and to remind these young adults their parents’ sacrifice to this nation will never be forgotten.
For more information on Freedom Alliance click here or visit: www.freedomalliance.org.
On the Second Day the Rumsfeld Foundation identified America’s VetDogs. America’s VetDogs (AVD) provides disabled veterans with dogs trained to help them with their disabilities whether it be an amputee or a Vet suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Stress dogs which help the troops overseas deal with the daily stress incurred by combat theaters. These dogs are deployed in either Military or Veterans Hospitals and to overseas locations to assist our troops. The Mission of the organization is: “To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.”
For more information on VetDogs click here or visit: www.vetdogs.org.
On the Third Day; FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) was recognized by the Rumsfeld Foundation for their promotion and providing entrepreneurship through micro-financial services to those in need around the world.
FINCA started out in the early 1980’s by providing poor Bolivian Farmers no collateral loans through a collective guarantee by John Hatch. They are also the pioneers of “Village Banking” where groups of villagers can share a loan and guarantee repayment. This style of banking today is known as “Microfinancing.” Today the organization remains nearly the same as their global network still helps create jobs, asset building and improvement in living standards for low-income families.
For more information on FINCA click here or visit: www.finca.org.
On the Fourth Day the Rumsfeld Foundation chose America’s Fund. America’s Fund is a self-funded program of the Semper Fi Fund. This fund provides immediate and continuous support for injured servicemen, women and their families. This fund provides support to families of injured service members by allowing them to spend time at their bedside without worrying about the finances needed to enable them to do so. On many occasions service members families cannot afford the traveling, lodging and wage loss incurred to be by their loved ones bedside which is only the beginning for America’s Fund.
They continue their assistance by providing specialized and adaptive equipment, housing and transportation, furniture to assist them in their therapy, education and career transition, art programs, iPads to assist members who have PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and are building new programs in the areas of team-based athletics and canine companions.
For more information on America’s Fund click here or visit: www.americasfund.org.
Day Five, National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Wounded Warrior Careers Program. The Mission of NOD is to promote full participation and contributions of America’s 56 Million people with disabilities in all aspects of life with a focus on increasing employment for working age Americans with disabilities who are not currently employed. The Wounded Warrior Careers Program explores all of the career options available for men and women wounded in all branches of the military who have a disability.
They offer many guides to help not only the disabled service member and Veteran, but also helps guide organizations and employers in designing successful programs to get those who are employable, employed.
Click here to see a short video about NOD and their impact on the lives of wounded veterans and their efforts to assist veterans during re-entry into the civilian world.
For more information on the NOD and their Wounded Warrior Career Program click here or visit: www.nod.org/research_publications/wwc_vets.
Day 6 was Homes for Our Troops. Homes for Our Troops is an organization who builds special homes adapted to severely injured Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan. The Veterans are succumbed to single and multiple amputations and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
The organization truly believes their homes start the rebuilding process in these Veterans and their Families lives as they leave the military and transition back into the civilian world. The homes are “mortgage free” helping relieve the stress of a mortgage payment every month allowing the family to concentrate on other issues in their new lives such as recovery, therapy and returning to the civilian workforce.
Click here to see the 2014 Rebuilding Lives video from Homes for Our Troops.
For more information on Homes for Our Troops click here or visit: www.hfotusa.org.
Not “Seven Swans a Swimming…;” “One Mind for Research.” One Mind for Research is an organization dedicated to brain health, which is an issue many of our wounded veterans face with the many cases of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) related their enlistment and tours overseas in the many war zones we are involved with.
More than 60 million Americans suffer from some type of mental illness or brain injury and is considered to be in epidemic proportions. One Mind for Research sees many opportunities with the challenges involving brain injuries. One of the areas they are working on, under the direction of General Pete Chiarelli is the lack of exact scientific diagnostics and treatment. Currently a person with PTS is diagnosed using 20 questions given by a Mental Health Professional.
One of the opportunities they see is to devote themselves to research all brain diseases in a large scale, taking the data and utilizing “Open Science” principles, building online communities with partners like “PatientsLikeMe” involving brain diseases which will lead to better diagnostics, cures and treatments.
For more information on One Mind for Research click here or visit: www.onemind.org.
Continuing to #8 they chose Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation. Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW) is an organization dedicated to servicemen and women from all branches of the military who are victims of a traumatic injury. They provide programs which utilize therapeutic experiences utilizing outdoor activities in the serenity of the State of Montana.
Their Mission is focused on putting traumatically injured combat veterans back into society after assisting them through hope, resilience, camaraderie, security and serenity with fly fishing and other therapeutic mediums.
For more information on Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation click here or visit: www.warriorsandquietwaters.org.
And on the Ninth Day… Accion. Accion is a worldwide organization with its largest part of their network in the United States. They have been helping improve people’s lives through microloans. Founded in 1961they have built 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries. Their Mission is very simple; “to give people the financial tools they need to improve their lives.
For more information on Accion click here or visit: www.accion.org.
The Tenth Day was a good day for the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF). The Yellow Ribbon Fund is an organization who helps fill the gaps between what the military provides and what military families need when their loved one is injured during their service. YRF helps the families of injured military personnel who are being treated in the Washington, D.C. area which encompasses patients at Walter Reed National Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
They help by providing free hotel rooms and transportation in the form of rental cars and Taxi rides for the injured service members visiting family members, so they can be with them during their treatment and recovery Their support reaches beyond the hospital with child care services and activities involving the entire family. During stressful times they provide massages, spa visits, dinners out and even horseback rides. If any legal issues should arise they can provide lawyers for the veterans pro bono.
For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Fund click here or visit: www.yellowribbonfund.org.
On the Eleventh Day the pipers piped in for “Our Military Kids.” Our Military Kids is an organization catering to the needs of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel’s children between the ages of 3 and 18. They provide grants enabling the kids to attend sporting and fine arts and tutoring events hoping to provide the nurturing atmosphere they may need while their loved one is deployed or returned with a serious injury and disability.
Their programs help the kids focus on activities such as; baseball, dance, music, horseback riding and tennis instead of their service member helping relieve the stress of their being away from home or dealing with a disability.
For more information on Our Military Kids click here or visit: www.ourmilitarykids.org.
And now a drum roll please! The 12th and final is Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). This foundation was started after the attempt in 1980 to rescue 53 American Hostages from Iran. This mission ended in tragedy leaving 8 dead after a helicopter and C-130 aircraft collided. There were 17 children left without a loved one.
Taking care of these 17 children was a battlefield promise and thus became the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The organization provides full financial assistance with post-secondary degree programs from an accredited two or four year college, university, trade school or technical school and educational and family counseling for children of Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy Special Operations Personnel who lose their lives while on duty serving our country.
Click here to see a video about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
For more information about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation click here or visit: www.specialops.org.
This concludes the Rumsfeld Foundations 2014 12 Days 12 Ways to Give. Donald Rumsfeld is noted as making the following comment; “We hope you will follow the ‘12 Ways to Give’ on the Rumsfeld Foundation Facebook page highlighting the efforts of our fine partners and that you will consider these impressive outfits for year-end giving.”
For more information on the Rumsfeld Foundation click here or visit: www.rumsfeldfoundation.org.