CHICAGO (June 19, 2018) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) supporters raise awareness and funds in many ways for the warriors the organization serves. And WWP dedicates every hour, dollar, and action to helping veterans achieve their highest ambition. Some supporters have used their art to show the courage of wounded veterans; others have written songs and donated proceeds from the music. Victoria Magnus, director of the Magnus Charitable Trust, is supporting WWP through her philanthropic work in the Chicago community, which includes an upcoming yoga event in Millennium Park called Root to Rise.
“I have supported Wounded Warrior Project for about three years now, including events at the Air and Water Show and the annual Soldier Ride in Chicago,” Victoria said. “I’ve been glad to provide support behind the scenes and through donations, but now my family’s charity trust is trying to be more event-focused and find new ways to work together.”
The Magnus Charitable Trust was started by Victoria’s parents in 1995, focusing on education and feeding the hungry locally and around the world. Specifically, they have worked to break the cycle of poverty through grants and scholarships.
“We want to help those Chicago area high school seniors with lower GPAs flourish and do more, and start a new trajectory for future generations,” Victoria said. “We try to connect with as many local charities as possible, to maximize their impact through the local support that we have. I think it’s important to show up and be part of the whole process of making a difference, aside from just being there to support a cause financially.”
Victoria comes from a military family – her dad was a World War II veteran – and like her father, she is passionate about supporting the underdogs.
“My dad, Alexander Magnus Jr., believed in giving people a hand up, instead of a handout,” Victoria said. “He saw people struggling with physical and mental issues and wanted to do more. And the more I involved myself with veterans organizations, and the more I talked with friends, who were also active duty, about their struggles upon returning home, and friends they lost to suicide because of post-traumatic stress disorder, I realized how serious it was.”
In time, she connected with WWP and learned the support that WWP provides isn’t just limited to physical injuries – services are also offered in the areas of mental health, financial wellness, and building connections that create a community of support. WWP recognizes every journey is different, it meets warriors where they are in their recoveries.
“After hearing the passion of the staff and learning more about the programs and services that make the impact, I was blown away,” Victoria said. “Too many people don’t know the full scope of what Wounded Warrior Project does, and people need to know about the amazing work that it does. Once I learned about that, I wanted to do more.”
And she knew exactly what she wanted to do – an idea that had long lived inside her head, but that had no proper place to land. Until now.
“I just couldn’t find the right organization to partner with as the Magnus Charitable Trust talked about doing a yoga fundraiser in Chicago,” Victoria said. “I eventually told Wounded Warrior Project they would be perfect for this type of event.”
Not only was the idea of a yoga fundraiser appealing to Victoria and the Magnus Charitable Trust because of its impact and fun factor – it’s something that is deeply personal to Victoria.
“I dealt with depression and anxiety, along with some health issues, for quite some time,” Victoria said. “My doctor for years told me to do yoga, and I wasn’t in a place where I felt ready. But once I started to do it, and pay more attention to my mental health, I realized it’s a holistic healing that needs to take place; mental and physical well-being aren’t separate. I was amazed, and it changed my life, and I started to feel more complete. Having something that can ground you and bring you into a more present state is something that everyone needs – in this day and age, especially.”
It’s a similar path that yogi and Army veteran Dan Nevins took after he lost both his legs because of an attack in Iraq in 2004. When he came home to the civilian world, Dan struggled to center himself and find a sense of peace. After some time trying to find a new normal, Dan embarked on a new career path as a certified yoga instructor to share the practice with fellow service members and civilians. On June 30, Dan will share his story, personal accomplishments, and passion for yoga as he leads the practice at Root to Rise.
“For me, yoga helps me stay present, in the present moment,” Dan said. “I lived with the invisible wounds of war for years, and I learned tools to cope with those wounds. Yoga gave me the tools to heal. Yoga has given me those tools to not let anything that happened in the past affect me now. The best of our life hasn’t happened yet – and once we realize that, we can start to create a life we’re proud of.”
Victoria shares and understands this sentiment well – it’s a point of personal passion for her, and a viewpoint she hopes to share with the community when they gather for Root to Rise.
“Being vulnerable is strength; we’re not meant to face life’s problems or challenges on our own,” Victoria said. “We need to be connected to our communities. There are other people and veterans struggling to find their way in the world. The good news is that there are just as many, and more, people who want to empathize and be there for you. As much as your mind or illness wants to convince you that the fight is over, it’s not the truth. That kind of mindset keeps us stuck, but having that community around you can help change your world.”
With help from supporters like Victoria and the Magnus Charitable Trust, WWP ensures no warrior ever feels alone. Each contribution helps us make a life-changing difference in a warrior’s life.
To learn more about Root to Rise and how support gives warriors positive futures to look forward to, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/root-to-rise-yoga-event-benefiting-wounded-warrior-project-ft-yogi-dan-nevins-tickets-45120014177.
For 15 years, WWP has been serving those who sacrificed. To learn more about how the veterans charity is transforming the way America’s injured veterans are empowered, employed, and engaged in our communities, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Contact: Mattison Brooks – Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 904.451.5590
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.