Washington DC (May 7, 2013) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, today announced they have awarded $1.4 million in grants to organizations also serving injured service members and their families. Since its inception in 2012, the WWP grant program has funded over 75 different organizations, totaling more than $6.5 million.
“Now in its third year, Program Grants has taken a strategic, proactive approach to address the biggest trends and issues facing this population of injured veterans,” said Steve Nardizzi, CEO, Wounded Warrior Project. “To truly impact a generation of warriors, it takes the collaboration and commitment of many organizations to meet the unique needs of warriors and their families. Coordinating efforts helps to ensure this generation of injured veterans is the most successful and well-adjusted in our nation’s history.”
The WWP Grants Program was created to bridge gaps in care and services by collaborating with nonprofits that provide high-quality, high-touch programming to injured service members in remote or underserved regions.
For this grant cycle, WWP prioritized funding within thirteen categories ranging from suicide prevention to BMI reduction among warriors. The development of the funding priorities was informed by the 2013 WWP Annual Alumni Survey, whose findings are based on responses from nearly 14,000 Iraq and Afghanistan service members, making it the most statistically relevant and largest sample size of service members injured or wounded since 9/11. By relying heavily on the Annual Alumni Survey to help identify the most significant reintegration challenges for wounded service members and their families, the targeted funding process allowed WWP to directly seek organizations that provide programming in focus areas that injured veterans have identified as most important for their recovery and reintegration into their communities.
“WWP’s 20 programs and services provide a strong foundation for injured service members throughout their recovery, and by supporting these excellent organizations that provide unique and highly specialized services, we are able to broaden the network and scope of services that are available to them,” Nardizzi said. “Our more targeted approach will allow us to reach deeper into underserved communities and offer important specialized services where they may not have been available or accessible before.”
In this fifth round of grants, WWP requested applications from organizations that seek to enhance the lives of wounded veterans through programmatic activities aimed at improving mental health and wellness, exposing warriors to new opportunities for physical fitness and activity, connecting wounded veterans with their peers, and enhancing economic empowerment and independence among wounded veterans – all in an effort to help foster healthy readjustment to civilian life. Interested organizations completed a letter of interest and were subsequently invited to submit a full application; those receiving funds were carefully vetted and chosen based on shared mission, core values, and focus in WWP’s four core program areas: engagement, mind, body, economic empowerment.
It is estimated over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“When we say we will be here for a lifetime to support this generation of wounded warriors, we mean it,” Nardizzi said. “The program grants ensure that we are supporting and collaborating with other like-minded organizations that mean it, too.” To join us in our #IMEANIT commitment, please pledge your support.
This cycle’s grant recipients are: Final Salute; Hoosier Veterans Assistance Fund of Indiana; FOCUS Marines Foundation; Armed Services YMCA San Diego; Lone Survivor Foundation; Mental Health America of Greater Houston; Services for the UnderServed; Quality of Life Foundation; Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families; Pat Tillman Foundation; and Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. For more information, and a description of the grant recipients, please visit the 2014 Grant Recipients Page.
Wounded Warrior Project®
Wounded Warrior Project is recognizing its ten-year anniversary, reflecting on a decade of service and reaffirming its commitment to serving injured veterans for their lifetime. The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP currently serves 50,000 warriors and nearly 7,000 family members through its unique 20 programs and services. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.