Enriching Lives ... One at a Time
We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity
We provide "under the radar" support to Veterans, returning active military personnel and their families who are convalescing and receiving care at Veterans' Affairs Medical Centers and other military hospitals, as well as through our affiliation with several Fisher Houses. This support includes events and outings (Enriching Lives) and also support tailored to provide more time-sensitive assistance -- auto fuel cards, grocery store food and meal cards, department store gift cards for clothing, supplies, etc.
Over 22,500 participants
Veterans, Returning Military and Their Families Support Program
Over 112,400 Hours of Activities
Key Outcomes for Program Participants
Improved and enhanced therapeutic recovery and treatment
Assisting with re-entry to civilian life
Encouraging socialization, reducing isolation and loneliness
Better quality of life and wellbeing
Improved general disposition, psychological health and outlook
This program is focused on providing support to active military service members, Veterans living in VA Medical Centers/hospitals, Veterans’ long-term care residences (e.g., Armed Forces Retirement Home), Veterans’ Medical Foster Program group homes and at home, disabled wounded warriors living with full-time family caregivers, returning service members undergoing therapy in Blind Rehabilitation Units, Psycho-Social Rehabilitation and Recovery Centers (PRRC), Mental Health Therapy Programs, Substance Abuse Recovery Program (SARP), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Therapy, older adults Veterans living in assisted living facilities and in the community and support for the needs of caregivers.
Too often, our nation’s heroes – Veterans and returning military personnel – do not have the funds or aren't provided with access to what most of us take for granted for a better life. For example, at the VA facilities where we provide services, transportation normally is available but there is no funding to get out to a sporting event, or a museum or concert, or a restaurant lunch or dinner (group therapy and socialization). Similarly, getting a fuel card for a VA hospital visit or a grocery food card or a personal needs gift card makes a difference to a caregiver family or family visiting a returning wounded serviceman undergoing emergency and life-saving surgery or trauma therapy. These seem small, yet they have a big impact, as they do in all our lives.
Recovery, Rehabilitation, Re-Entry to Civilian Life, Ongoing Treatment
For returning service personnel and Veterans undergoing low-vision rehabilitation, substance abuse therapy, military sexual trauma therapy, mental health and/or psycho-social therapy, as well as ongoing medical and health treatment, social and community interaction can be a vital part of the recovery process. In some cases, they are isolated and often estranged from family, friends and their communities. These social interactions help to heal non-physical wounds and help to promote re-integration and family/community connections.
We work with program managers, therapists and staff responsible for programming to determine the types of therapeutic activities (sporting events, theater, music, meals out, bowling, riverboat tours, visits to the zoo and much more) that will be enjoyable, relaxing and will assist with and contribute to recovery, recuperation and re-entry to civilian life. We then monitor the level of satisfaction and enjoyment of sponsored events and activities. Our program is then modified, as needed, to obtain the right balance for the overall and disabled population of each facility.
We also work with the therapeutic recreation therapy and Caregiver Support Program Coordinators to focus our efforts on services most needed by wounded and disabled veterans in the program. We ask for specific recommendations and work to fit these suggestions into our programs (funding and budget dependent).
We are constantly identifying new opportunities for disabled veterans to socialize in group activities–to help complement regular therapy sessions, and to give disabled veterans living in long term facilities the opportunity to "get out of the house" -- like we all need to do. We also sponsor a gardening program – for physical and mental therapy as well as fostering community and working together. This is a very popular program for gardeners as well as those who love nature’s beauty!
For low-income families of severely injured Veterans and returning military (particularly those traveling for medical and related care at Veterans’ hospitals and centers, we offer economic wellbeing support – grocery food cards, automobile fuel cards, gift cards for personal care items as well as vouchers for restaurants, movies and other similar items. We also offer this same kind of financial support to low-income caregivers and families of service-disabled veterans – who have left their jobs to take care of their veteran family member. Often, we can offer activities for the families to enjoy an opportunity for relaxation, fun and family bonding.
Over 45,000 hours of physical activity
Vets & Returning Military Impact