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Introducing our 2020 Dole Caregiver Fellows

Introducing our 2020 Dole Caregiver Fellows
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Elizabeth Dole Foundation Announces 2020 Class of Dole Caregiver Fellows

Military caregivers from across the nation selected to represent their states and advocate on behalf of the 5.5 million Americans caring for a wounded, ill, or injured veteran

Washington, D.C. (May 4, 2020) – The Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced its 2020 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows. Thirty military and veteran caregivers will join the 225 past and present Dole Caregiver Fellows who represent all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to bring attention to the tremendous challenges facing America’s 5.5 million hidden heroes – the spouses, parents, family members, and other loved ones who provide more than $14 billion in voluntary care for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans every year. The role of these Fellows has never been more important as America’s caregivers are under unprecedented stress due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Dole Caregiver Fellows are leaders, community organizers, and advocates for military caregivers in their states and nationwide. They are trained by the Foundation and empowered to share their stories directly with national leaders in the White House, Congress, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other government agencies, as well as decision makers in the business, entertainment, faith, and nonprofit sectors. The Fellows provide feedback to the Foundation, its coalition partners, and government and community leaders on the most pressing issues concerning military caregivers and influence positive change on behalf of these hidden heroes.

“Our eighth class of Dole Caregiver Fellows is bringing a new set of unique voices to our mission, but all share similar stories of strength, resilience, and hope in caring for their wounded warriors,” said Steve Schwab, CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. “As they care for their veterans, we are grateful for their passion, wisdom, and willingness to come together and advocate for their fellow hidden heroes. They are the heart and soul of our work.”

Senator Elizabeth Dole created the Dole Caregiver Fellows program in 2012 to directly engage military and veteran caregivers in the Foundation’s mission. The 2020 Fellows class includes loved ones whose service members and veterans represent all branches of service and different eras of peace and conflict. The 2020 class represents 23 states and includes a retired father caring for his daughter and her son, an occupational therapist who took on her own fiancé’s full-time care, and a wife who assumed care of her husband and pulled them back from the brink of homelessness.

The 2020 Dole Caregiver Fellows include:

  • Breanna Shields- Peoria, Arizona
  • Jennifer Reed- Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Crystal Wilson- Golden, Colorado
  • Silvia Lopez- Dover, Delaware
  • Joseph Narvaez- Clearwater, Florida
  • Jenifer Smith- Boynton Beach, Florida
  • Jessica Beck- Crescent City, Florida
  • Tiffany Bodge- Valdosta, Georgia
  • Anne Way- Martinez, Georgia
  • Linzi Andersen-Eagle, Idaho
  • Mika Cupp-Richmond, Indiana
  • Katie Guidry- Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Lisa Ducharme- Belchertown, Massachusetts
  • Jenn Paulson-Faribault, Minnesota
  • Jennifer Schmidt- Taylors Falls, Minnesota
  • Barb Webb- Columbia, Missouri
  • Sherri Piper-Diamondhead, Mississippi
  • Krista Petterson- Columbus, Montana
  • Jim White- Apex, North Carolina
  • Brandy Wrenn- Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Geri Lynn Maples- Middletown, Ohio
  • Maghan Spring- Skiatook, Oklahoma
  • Annie Adkinson- Keizer, Oregon
  • Melissa Swire- Noxen, Pennsylvania
  • Lyra Helms- Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Jennifer Ostan- Lexington, South Carolina
  • Tammy Dyson- Mountain City, Tennessee
  • Mari Linfoot- Adams, Tennessee
  • Tiffany Wayment- Bountiful, Utah
  • Megan Weatherford-Mount Lookout, West Virginia

If you are interested in conducting an interview with a 2020 Dole Caregiver Fellow, or with a spokesperson from the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, please contact Austin Courtney at [email protected].