The 2018 Hidden Heroes Fund grant recipients include:
Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) helps to advance the mission of The American Legion. With nearly three-quarters of a million members, it is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization and one of the nation’s most prominent supporters of veterans, military, and their families. ALA members volunteer millions of hours annually, with a value averaging $1.5 billion each year. From helping to draft the GI Bill in 1944 to advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, The American Legion Family has been instrumental in advancing legislation that improves the quality of life for our nation’s veterans.
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are.
Code of Support Foundation (COSF) provides critical one-on-one assistance to service members, veterans, caregivers and their families who have the most complex needs. COSF’s integrated programs include personalized, holistic, long-term case coordination services that serve all service eras across the nation and PATRIOTlink® – a cloud-based solution developed by COSF to facilitate integrated efforts among veteran support organizations and enable users to access to vetted, direct, cost-free veteran services.
Established in 1979, Community Hospice & Palliative Care (“CHPC”) is the first and only community-based nonprofit hospice and palliative care provider serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns Counties in Northeast Florida. In 2017, the organization started serving 11 additional counties in North Central Florida: Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwanee and Union Counties. Each year, through the hard work of over 950 employees and the support of over 1,000 volunteers, the organization helps more than 14,000 patients and their families to live better with advanced illness. During its 39 years in operation, CHPC has served over 200,000 adults and children in their home, in long term care and assisted living facilities, in hospitals and at its eight inpatient care centers conveniently located throughout the area.
Dog Tag Inc. (DTI) empowers transitioning service-disabled veterans, military spouses, and caregivers to discover personal and professional fulfillment in the civilian world through an innovative five-month business and entrepreneurship-focused fellowship program. Launched in 2014 in Washington D.C., DTI’s program combines business & entrepreneurship coursework through Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, ample leadership development opportunities and hands-on rotations throughout Dog Tag Bakery. Fellows explore a variety of career paths, learn how to utilize available resources, and establish vast networks as they develop strategic roadmaps for achieving personal and professional fulfillment post-service. Proceeds from Dog Tag Bakery help support the program. Together DTI is #bakingadifference in the lives of veterans & military families.
The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit dedicated to serving the families who stand behind the uniform. Since 1969, NMFA has worked to strengthen and protect millions of families through its advocacy and programs. They provide spouse scholarships, camps for military kids, and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill, or injured. NMFA serves the families of the currently serving, veteran, retired, wounded or fallen members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA.
Project New Hope Inc., “Where Veterans Rebuild with Honor,” is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit founded in 2011 by disabled veteran and Board President William Moore. Project New Hope’s mission is to help veterans transition to civilian life and to create a mutual support network among veterans, wounded warriors and their families.
The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University conducts research on issues that affect military and veteran families and works to shape policies, programs and practices that improve their well-being. Founded in 2000, MFRI envisions a diverse support community that understands the most pressing needs of military and veteran families. To achieve this, MFRI collaborates to create meaningful solutions for them. This nationally-recognized organization is located at Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences, in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) is a collection of programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry dedicated to military and veteran mental health and wellness. M-SPAN integrates innovative approaches to outreach, overcoming stigma, and decreasing isolation, and includes the design and delivery of programs for service members, veterans and their families. M-SPAN includes 5 flagship programs: Buddy-to-Buddy, Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), HomeFront Strong, Strong Military Families, and After Her Service. Each flagship program was developed in response to identified gaps in services, and includes evidence-based approaches that have been tailored for specific populations. A rigorous program evaluation is also integral to each program.
The Wounded Veteran Family Care Program (WVFCP) of the Quality of Life Foundation, Inc. (QoLF) addresses the unmet needs of military veteran caregivers, children and family members who provide daily, substantial care for catastrophically wounded, ill or injured veterans. The mission of QoLF is to improve the quality of life of individuals and families whose lives have forever been changed. QoLF wants to ensure that every caregiving family is recognized, accepted, and supported in their civilian community. By supporting these families as they adjust to a “new normal” way of life, QoLF is addressing their most significant challenges while together building a pathway to greater resiliency.
Vets’ Community Connections (VCC) is a community-based initiative designed to involve a greater number of individuals/organizations in veteran and military family integration efforts. VCC provides individuals the channel to use their own professional experience and expertise to respond to veteran and military family questions, and organizations/businesses a channel for offering veteran/military discounts.
Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. (VLP) empowers Veterans to navigate the transitions of life. VLP was founded in 1982 and currently operates seven housing programs ranging from emergency, to rapid rehousing, to permanent housing; two employment programs to assist Veterans who are un/underemployed with employment opportunities; and three supportive service programs that provide emergency financial assistance, benefits assistance, and a physical and mental empowering program that assists Veterans in combating substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress.
The mission of the Worklife Institute is to promote and facilitate the highest quality of work life, providing program resources for area residents, workplaces and communities. The Worklife Institute was founded in 1988 by Dr. Diana Dale as a non-profit 501(c)3 employee services and educational Resource Center for the Texas Gulf Coast region and to collaborate nationally for best practices. The major programs of the Institute are Career Transition, Employee Assistance Programs, Corporate Consultation for organizational change management, Mediation and Entrepreneurship training and the Texas Veterans Worklife Transition Program.