Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hope For The Warriors® Grants Wish to TX Family

On Friday, March 20, Hope For The Warriors® fulfilled a Wish for one Texas service member and his family. This Retired Air Force veteran and his family picked up their pull-behind camper in Colbert, Oklahoma. Gus Cabarcas attended the Wish reception and met with this wonderful veteran and his family in person.


This veteran suffered back injuries during his Iraq deployment that now prevent him from camping comfortably. He applied to A Warrior’s Wish® as a way to bond with his family through camping. To test out the use of a camper, the A Warrior's Wish® Selection Committee granted the family two summer camper rentals in 2014, allowing them to properly determine if a camper would be suitable for his recovery. After this trial period, Hope For The Warriors® was pleased to grant this Wish to further benefit this service member and his family’s rehabilitation.

The original quote for the camper was $27,000, but the community support of a local retailer, RV Station, brought the price down to $17,000. Hope For The Warriors® was able to purchase and provide the family’s desired make and model at a discounted price.

This Wish is the first of 11 granted by Hope For The Warriors® in 2015.


Both service members and spouses turn to Hope For the Warriors® and the A Warrior’s Wish® Program to fulfill goals of assimilating to their new lives. For these individuals and their families, once again enjoying prior lifestyles and activities is very much a part of their restoration process, and Hope For The Warriors® recognizes its importance.

We thank RV Station for helping to support this Wish. And thank you to our own Gus Cabarcas for greeting the family at the camper reception! 

Click here to view the news story on this Wish.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Team Hope For The Warriors® Newsletter: March

Team Hope For The Warriors® at the 2015 NYC Half Marathon
2015 Team Races:

Team Hope For The Warriors® has a lot of exciting events planned for the 2015 season! First, is the Marine Corps Historic Half on May 17 in Fredericksburg, VA. Then, new for this year, on October 25, in addition to Marine Corps Marathon bibs, Team Hope For The Warriors® has bibs for the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. Claim your bibs in these popular events and register with Team Hope For The Warriors®!

Below are the confirmed dates and races for 2015

May 17, 2015 – Marine Corps Historic Half*

August 22, 2015 – Quantico Tri*
SOLD OUT

October 11, 2015 – Army Ten Miler*
Registration Site to go live soon

October 25, 2015 – Marine Corps Marathon 10K

October 25, 2015 – Marine Corps Marathon*

November 1, 2015 – TCS NYC Marathon

*Handcycle friendly race

Fundraising Tip:

Share what your fundraising goal can do for service members with potential supporters.
  • Fundraising goal for the Marine Corps Marathon, $575: can cover travel costs to send a warrior Team member to an event or Valor Games.
  • Fundraising goal for the TCS NYC Marathon, $3,500: can pay for handcycle for a warrior team member.

Training Tip:

As spring arrives and we deal with the last couple cold wintery days here are some tips as you ramp-up your training for spring events:
  1. If you have taken a significant amount of time off in the winter ease yourself back into things. Do not get frustrated if you are not running the same pace you did in the fall. Gradually increase your mileage, no more than 10% a week, and intensity to help avoid injury and burnout.
  2. Carve out consistent time out of your week to work out. It then becomes less of a choice and more of a habit, maybe try a local exercise or running group, and find a group of friends to join you.
  3. As you begin new training now is a good time to evaluate your diet and make changes that will positively impact your training. Also, remember to hydrate!
  4. Get some new workout gear! This can help inspire you to work out while also helping you stay healthy, especially by replacing those old shoes. 

Team Member Corner: Carra Jane Williams

Twenty-seven-year-old, Carra Jane Williams, ran her second New York City Half Marathon this month, on Team Hope For The Warriors®. She was inspired to tackle the challenge again because of her belief in Hope For The Warriors® mission of restoring hope to service members and their families.

In preparation for both races, Carra Jane surpassed both her fundraising and mile pace goals. She feels strongly about the sacrifices of our service members and is empowered to give back as much as she can to the dedicated men and women of our military.

Carra Jane was raised in Covington, Louisiana and graduated from Louisiana State University. She currently resides in Manhattan. Team Hope For The Warriors® would like to thank Carra Jane for being an awesome supporter of Hope For The Warriors® and completing the NYC Half.

Carra Jane at the 2015 NYC Half Marathon with her Brother Connor. 
 
2015 United NYC Marathon Recap:
Hope For The Warriors® would like to thank and congratulate all of the Team members who participated in the 2015 United NYC Half Marathon. The Team included more than 40 members and raised approximately $46,000! We would also like to thank Alliance Bernstein, JackRabbit, Athleta UWS, and American Whiskey for the continued support over this season and in past years.  

Program Information:

Charity Navigator:
For the fourth year in a row, Hope For The Warriors® has received a four-star rating on Charity Navigator. This exceptional rating, achieved by only 8% of the nonprofits they evaluate, highlights Hope For The Warriors® financial responsibility to the service members, military families, and families of the fallen we support. Team members can continue to ask people to donate towards fundraising goals with confidence! We invite you to view their latest evaluation of our efforts on the Charity Navigator website.

A Warrior’s Wish:
This year, Hope For The Warriors® will grant 11 wishes to support service members, veterans, and military families. The nature of these Wishes will vary in scope from business, fitness, financial, and outdoor-related. The enrichment process will continue long after the Wish is granted to promote stability within the lives of these heroes and their families. As the Wishes are granted we will share the stories in the upcoming newsletters. Learn more about A Warriors Wish

Caregivers Workshop:
Hope For The Warriors®, Clinical Health & Wellness team held the first Military Caregivers Workshop on Tuesday, March 3 in Lorton, VA. The purpose of the workshop was to focus on the needs of those who tirelessly care for our wounded service members and veterans. Read more about this successful event here!

Jack Rabbit Relationship:
Exciting news for all of our Team Members in the New York City area. Team Hope For The Warriors® has partnered up with Jack Rabbit for GROUP RUNS! These runs will take place at one of Jack Rabbit’s locations (Union Square, Upper West, Upper East, or Brooklyn). In addition, Jack Rabbit is offering the Team clinics, such as nutrition and gear. This will be an ongoing relationship and the schedule for group runs and clinics will be posted soon. For more information please contact Steve Barto at sbarto@hopeforthewarriors.org.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Series:
The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series has teamed up with everydayhero as their official fundraising platform. You can now run in any Rock ‘n’ Roll event and raise funds for Hope For The Warriors! Beginning March 1st, every race participant will be asked if they want to fundraise on behalf of their favorite cause during the race registration process. When you register and are asked to choose your charity, pick Hope For The Warriors® and you will automatically be given a Rock ‘n’ Roll everydayhero fundraising page!  

USA Track & Field (USATF):
Hope For The Warriors® is now a USATF Organization and if you are also a USATF member you can now run for Hope For The Warriors® as an organization! Furthermore, you can compete in the USATF championships. For more information please contact Steve Barto at sbarto@hopeforthewarriors.org.

Run For The Warriors®:
Registration is now open for the following Run For The Warriors® events:
  • 10th Annual Jacksonville Run For The Warriors® Register
  • 6th Annual Big Apple Run For The Warriors® Register

For the complete list of races visit www.runforthewarriors.org, check back frequently for more registration pages coming soon.

Representing the Team:

Be sure to shoot us an email with your race schedule and where you will be wearing your Team jersey. Each time you wear your jersey, you help our mission to restore self, family, and hope. Feel free to share photos and special stories too!


Important Links For Social Media:

Twitter When you tweet be sure to use #TeamH4W



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The First Hope For The Warriors Caregiver Workshop

Hope For The Warriors®, Clinical Health & Wellness team held the first Military Caregivers Workshop on Tuesday, March 3 in Lorton, VA. The purpose of the workshop was to focus on the needs of those who tirelessly care for our wounded service members and veterans.



Important Facts
Researchers are finding that Caregivers have a greater risk for psychological and physical health problems (Vitaliano, Zhang & Scanlan, 2003; Bride & Figley, 2009). This risk has been attributed to the high levels of emotional stress that Caregivers experience, their lack of participation in self-care activities and their feelings of social isolation (Vitaliano, Zhang & Scalan, 2003; NAC 2010; Tanielian et al., 2013).  Hope For The Warriors recognizes the great risks to our Military/Veteran Caregivers and have created Military and Veteran Caregiver Workshops to bridge the gap in care for Caregivers. They are spreading hope, resources, education and healing.

Crumbling Walls Of Isolation 
The caregivers arrived in the morning and we began the day with share time. Dana Thompson (Regional Social Worker for Hope For The Warriors®) asked the Caregivers to introduce themselves. The Caregivers shared their stories with one another, discovering they were not alone. In fact, others did understand and were going through some of the same challenges. The walls of isolations crumbled very quickly among the group.

The Lonely Caregiver
One particular Caregiver, the wife of a military veteran, was especially shy and hesitant to open up to the others at first. This was probably the first opportunity she had to speak with other caregivers. She is young and looked a little lost. Alone, and afraid of the unknowns. She had dark circles under her eyes. She was physically worn out and more than likely, emotionally worn out as well.

Getting To Know Ourselves
As the day progressed, the Caregivers participated in a short meditation session before beginning Art Therapy and proceeded to tackle a Theater Experiential project, which entailed writing letters to ourselves.  We wrote about our challenges, and ways to overcome those challenges. We thought about how to focus on ourselves and not to forget that we are individuals with dreams and aspirations and that even though we are Caregivers, we can still have dreams, individual goals, and accomplishments.



Nourishment For The Body And Soul 
We all ate lunch together and ended the day with a relaxing yoga routine. We exchanged phone numbers and contact information with one another. Every one of us established new friendships, hope and take home projects that would allow us to continue to break through the cocoons we have been trapped in, slowly breaking free, turning into beautiful butterflies.



Breaking Free
As for the Caregiver I spoke of at the beginning of this blog... her dark circles began disappearing throughout the workshop, she smiled, she laughed, she shared and most of all, she discovered that she is not alone. If you are a Caregiver, and you would like to meet other Caregivers from the comfort of your own home, please be sure to join our online, closed/secret Facebook Group. To learn how to join our Hope For The Warriors® Military and Veteran Support Group, CLICK HERE.



Thank you, Hope For The Warriors® for supporting our Military and Veteran Caregivers. You've given us wings to fly.

Much Love,
Patti Katter



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Celebrating 4 Stars, 4 Years, For HOPE

At Hope For The Warriors®, we pride ourselves on our fiscal responsibility. This commitment is one of the ways that we honor our military families. And we are pleased to report that our hard work has paid off!

For the fourth year in a row, Hope For The Warriors® has received a four-star rating on Charity Navigator. This exceptional rating, achieved by only 8% of the nonprofits they evaluate, highlights our financial responsibility to the service members, military families, and families of the fallen we support. We invite you to view their latest evaluation of our efforts on the Charity Navigator website!


The Hope For The Warriors® Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers work tirelessly to serve those who have sacrificed so much. However, we know that we could not have achieved this top rating without your continued support to our organization, our staff, and to our military families. On their behalf, we thank you!

As we celebrate this honor, we ask that you do two things:

1. Please share this great news and introduce Hope For The Warriors® to someone new. 
2. Please consider a donation to support programs that directly impact our heroes or consider a recurring monthly donation to support military families throughout the year. Your contribution can make the difference in the lives of our service members and military families.  

As always, thank you for joining in our mission to restore self, family, and HOPE.