Friday, January 22, 2016

Team Hope For The Warriors Newsletter: January

Team Hope For The Warriors® has a lot of exciting events planned for the 2016 season! Guarantee your spot in these popular events:

Current 2016 Team Hope For The Warriors® Schedule

March 20, 2016— United Airlines NYC Half

July 24, 2016— Panasonic NYC Tri

Stay tuned as more races get added to our 2016 schedule. 

Fundraising Tip
Let your supporters know what their contribution can do for service members, veterans, their families, and families of the fallen: 
  • $10 Provides a meal to a service member at a hunting or fishing trip
  • $25 Covers meals for a spouse visiting a wounded service member in the hospital
  • $100 Provides childcare for a service member attending standing Dr. appointments 
  • $500 Covers books/supplies for a scholarship recipient
  • $1,000 Travel/lodging to a brain treatment facility
  • $5,500 Provides a new handcycle for a wounded service member to help in his or her recovery process

Training Tip
Great article from Runners World on stretches and exercises to do before and after running to improve form and efficiency!

Team Member Corner: Eva Casale

Since 2006 Eva Casale, has run 54 full marathons and 32 ultramarathons, raising over $100,000 for several organizations. Now Team EVA (Every Veteran Appreciated) is taking on a new challenge, running 7 marathons in 7 days to raise funds and awareness for Hope For The Warriors®! Eva will complete 184 miles, running in honor of a different service member for each mile. She is starting and finishing each marathon at different Suffolk Federal Credit Union locations, in Long Island, NY, and is asking the community to donate to military families and join her in her run.

You can register to run with Eva today! You do not have to participate in all 7 of her 26.2-mile runs, but you can pick a day to join her for the last 7 miles of her run. Be part of the Team and encourage Eva along as you support military families.

Program Information

Charity Navigator:
For the 5th year in a row, Hope For The Warriors® has received a four-star rating on Charity Navigator. This exceptional rating, achieved by only 5% 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

For more information please contact Steve Barto at

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!  

Run For The Warriors®:

Save the date for the 2016 Run For The Warriors® Race Series:
  • April 23, Charlotte, NC 
    • Inaugural Charlotte Run For The Warriors 
  • May 14, Jacksonville, NC
    • 11th Annual Run For The Warriors
  • May 29, Oldsmar, FL
    • 2nd Annual Memorial Day Run For The Warriors
  • June 5, New York, NY
    • 7th Annual Big Apple Run For The Warriors
  • July 4, New Bern, NC
    • 5th Annual New Bern Run For The Warriors
  • August 21, Shelton, CT
    • 7th Annual Sunset Run For The Warriors
  • September 25, Secaucus, NJ
    • 6th Annual Harmon Meadow Run For The Warriors
  • October 16, Washington, DC
    • 3rd Annual DMV Run For The Warriors
  • October 23, Chicago, IL
    • 7th Annual ASA Sponsored Run For The Warriors
  • November 12, Lindenhurst, NY
    • 9th Annual Long Island Run For The Warriors 

Stay tuned for the 2016 Run For The Warriors® Race Series Registration sites,

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Warrior's Wish: Wounded Marine finds HOPE and healing in Music

Cpl Nathan Jakubisin with his new drum set
While conducting a foot patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan on June 5, 2012, Cpl Nathan Jakubisin stepped on an IED.  As a result of the blast, he lost his right leg and obtained an open compound fracture to his left leg. Other injuries include multiple fractures to his hand and wrist, partially amputated fifth digit, chemical burns, lung trauma, PTSD, and mTBI.

He arrived at Walter Reed Naval hospital on June 10, 2012. It was not until two weeks after his arrival that he woke up from a drug induced coma. Over the past two and a half years, he has undergone many surgeries and rigorous therapy sessions. 

Cpl Jakubisin joined Musicorps, a band of wounded service members at Walter Reed hospital.  As a band member he has learned to play with his prosthetic and finds that music is beneficial to his overall rehabilitation. By asking for a drum set, he and his wife hope that he can continue his therapeutic hobby once Nathan has medically separated from the USMC and is able to move home. 

He is currently enrolled in online classes to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security. He and his wife welcomed their first child in January 2014. The family is originally from Cambridge, OH but is excited to move into their newly built wheelchair accessible home in NC.

Hope’s MSW intern, Paula Valles out of the NC office on Camp Lejeune found an article that specifically highlights how the use of drums are used as part of music interventions and has provided a generous synopsis below:

Bensimon, Amir and Wolf’s (2012) article discusses the benefits of using music as a therapeutic intervention to cope with PTSD symptoms.  Studies have shown that traumatic events and music are both learned and absorbed in the brain through sensory meditation.  Bensimon et al.’s (2012) research demonstrates how music might serve as an inviting and unintimidating alternative to explore traumatic memories.  Music therapy can therefore, be an alternative form of shock/exposure therapy or “talk therapy” such that service members are not forced to logically and explicitly revisit painful memories directly in an uncomfortable situation. Music therapy allows military personnel the ability to express themselves and confront emotional difficulties through art therapy on their own terms and with their own creativity.  The terms of the study included soldiers ages 20-23 with PTSD and placed them in a music group to play the drums for a 16 week period; after 10 weeks with the interventions the group expressed feeling a “reduction of symptoms” (Bensimon et al., 2012).  In addition, the participants felt a sense of “belongingness, closeness, togetherness and sharing”; they were able to relate to and connect with one another again without explicitly sharing wartime experiences (Bensimon et al., 2012).  Finally, the study revealed an overall improvement in well-being and sense of self.  Music, such as the drumming interventions, facilitated an outlet for anger, rage, solace and promoted self-control for service members.   

A Warrior’s Wish® received support from Theodora Yoga and the local Columbus, OH Guitar Center to grant Nathan’s Wish.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

#Invest4HOPE with a Tax-Smart, Year-End Gift

Today is New Year's Eve, which makes it the perfect time to #Invest4HOPE with a year-end gift to Hope For The Warriors®!

As a member of our HOPE Family, you know that we’ve earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the fifth year in a row, putting us in the top 5% of rated nonprofits.

That’s because we keep our administrative costs to just 8.1%, which means most of our funding is invested in our programs for post-9/11 service members, veterans, caregivers, military families, and families of the fallen nationwide.

In other words, when you make a donation to Hope For the Warriors®, you’re not only investing in the future of our military community, you’re also investing in an organization that’s committed to using donor dollars wisely.

You’ve given the gift of HOPE before, and we’re thankful for your support. You know how much our programs mean to military families, so we’re writing to ask for your help again – by the end of December 31.

Your year-end contribution means a lot to us, but it means so much more to the thousands of U.S. military families we’ve helped over the past 10 years, like Sgt. Dan Casara and his family.

A Story of HOPE
On September 23, 2005, U.S. Army Sergeant Dan Casara’s M113 rolled over an anti-tank mine in Iraq.

After suffering multiple fractures, Dan underwent 24 surgeries, spent hours in physical therapy—and graduated from a wheelchair to a walker to crutches to a cane to a brace. He was awarded the Purple Heart and, today, he’s a student at the Golf Academy of America and a motivational speaker.

In 2010, Hope For The Warriors® flew Dan and his wife Basia to New York City so he could speak at the Tunnel to Towers 5K on September 23—their wedding anniversary and Dan’s Alive Day. They return each year to speak on behalf of Hope For The Warriors® at the 9/11 memorial run.

Dan continues to support Hope For The Warriors® because he believes in us. He appreciates that we put the majority of our funding toward programs. He knows we’ll always be there for him—and put service members, veterans, caregivers, and military families first. He hopes that we’ll continue to grow, so we can help everyone touched by military service.

With your support, we can. Please help us help our military community by making a tax-smart, year-end investment in HOPE today. 

IRA Charitable Rollover: A Tax-Smart, Year-End Investment in HOPE
The IRA charitable rollover provision is now permanent and retroactive for 2015 – but you must act quickly to make this tax-smart, year-end investment* in Hope For The Warriors®. You can make an IRA charitable rollover gift to Hope For The Warriors® this year if:

  • You’re 70 ½ or older at the time of the distribution.
  • The funds are transferred directly from your IRA to Hope For The Warriors® (up to $100,000).
  • The distribution is made by December 31, 2015.
  • Charitable rollover funds won’t be recognized as gross income for federal tax purposes.
  • Charitable rollover funds may satisfy your required minimum distribution, in whole or in part.
  • Charitable rollover funds may be applied to pledges or new gifts to Hope For The Warriors®.
  • You can enjoy federal tax benefits even if you don’t itemize deductions.

Your benefits may include*:

  • Charitable rollover funds won’t be recognized as gross income for federal tax purposes.
  • Charitable rollover funds may satisfy your required minimum distribution, in whole or in part.
  • Charitable rollover funds may be applied to pledges or new gifts to Hope For The Warriors®.
  • You can enjoy federal tax benefits even if you don’t itemize deductions.

It’s easy to give HOPE: Gifts may be made online, by phone at 877-246-7349 or by mail to 5101C Backlick Road, Annandale, VA 22003. Text the word WARRIORS to 20222 to donate. 

Thank you! We wish you peace, joy, love and HOPE during the holidays and into 2016.

*The information contained herein is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, tax or other professional advice. Consult your tax advisor.

*To take advantage of a charitable contribution tax deduction in 2015, mailed donations must be dated and postmarked by December 31, 2015; credit card and text donations must be processed by 5 pm on December 31, 2015.

Hope For The Warriors® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Federal Tax ID 20-5182295). Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) #27800. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Financial information and a copy of our license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 
1-888-830-4989 (within NC) or 919-807-2214 (outside of NC). The license is not an endorsement by the State.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from Hope For The Warriors®!

On behalf of everyone at Hope For The Warriors®, we want to wish you and your family—both at home and serving—a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We are grateful for your involvement this year as part of our Hope Family. Enjoy this special time together with loved ones as together we continue to give the gift of HOPE to our military families.

SPC Catherine Bane, USA, and her family at the
2015 Got Heart, Give Hope®

On their behalf, thank you! We wish you peace, joy, love, and HOPE this season.


Robin Kelleher


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Restoring Family this Christmas

As we celebrate all the joy that comes with the holidays, we understand that not everyone has the same opportunity to enjoy the peace surrounding the season. But where there's hope, there's a way. This story honors the struggles many of our service members face this time of year. It also recognizes the generosity of military supporters within our own communities who make the magic of the season possible for the whole family.

One Texas service member reached out to Hope For The Warriors after his medical retirement in September 2015. He started working soon after his retirement, but his doctor ordered him to stop and begin treatment for physical TBI and PTSD.

His loss of income left him, his wife, and three children with financial issues. The mounting stress during the holidays caused him to state to Hope For The Warriors that gifts for the children were "the last thing on [his] mind." Feeding his family was top priority.

One Hope For The Warriors staff member in Texas was contacted about reaching out to his local community of supporters. He found a family who jumped at the chance to help this military family. This exceptionally generous and caring family supplied food and everything on the children's' Christmas lists. And they didn't stop there. They invited the service member and his family to join them for Christmas Eve services at their church. Beyond the holidays, this family also offered the service member a job when he is ready to start work again. Talk about a Happy New Year!

This is just one story that proves the spirit of the holiday season can be found in the kindness of supporters who understand its meaning.

To restore hope to military families this time of year, consider giving the gift of HOPE. By choosing to give HOPE, you're not only honoring someone special to you—you're helping thank the men and women who have gifted us freedom year-round.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Warrior's Wish Brings Terminally Ill Marine & Family to Disney World

   In August 2015, SSgt Joseph Harms, an active duty Marine currently serving with Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at Camp Lejeune was faced with life-altering news. The devoted husband and father of two, ages 6 and 11, learned that his battle with cancer took a turn for the worse and he was given 6 months to 1 year to live.

    Thanks to our friend, LtCol Craig Stephens (Ret.), a Command Advisor at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, for referring SSgt Harms to Hope For The Warriors® and making us aware of his final wish to make unforgettable memories with his wife and kids at Walt Disney World. Through Hope For The Warriors® A Warriors Wish® collaboration with the Muscle Milk brand and Fisher House, the Harms Family was able to do just that over Thanksgiving.

   SSgt Harms joined the Marine Corps in 2002, where he began his career with security forces, guarding nuclear submarines in Kingsbay, Georgia. Soon after, he was transferred to 2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment Golf Company aboard Camp Lejeune, where he traveled with his unit to Europe, Africa, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Israel, providing training to local militia and helicopter inserts for ground patrols.

   Returning home to America, he was given orders to Quantico, VA and was chosen to become an instructor for concealed pistol carry, foreign weapons, and small arms weapons. He excelled as a trainer and was recognized for this skill. In 2009, he checked into 3rd Battalion 6th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune serving as the Marksmanship Training Non-Commissioned Officer at the Battalion before transferring to Kilo Company as a Squad Leader. As the Squad Leader, his role was to prepare his Marines for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of the Battle For Marjah, a historic battle in our country’s war on terror.  During SSgt Harms’ first full day in Marjah, he was found unconscious after an airstrike caused the building he was in to collapse while carrying out a mission to medevac a civilian.  

   Seven months later, he returned home for 10 months and continued to train for his 2nd deployment to Afghanistan to again support for the Battle For Marjah. Unfortunately, this rigorous training left him with minimal time with his family. Before he deployed he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and left shortly after to carry out the mission of constructing 13 fresh water wells, 3 free medical initiatives, and 3 new schools with 3/6.

   Shortly after returning from his second deployment to Afghanistan, he was diagnosed with a tumor starting in his appendix and metastasizing to several internal organs and limbs.  Since 2012, he’s undergone countless surgeries, seven types of chemotherapy, maximum amount of radiation exposure, removal of internal organs, infections, and years of pain.

   Hope For The Warriors® and our supporters were honored to make SSgt Harms' Wish come true and are pleased to continue helping the Harms Family make unforgettable memories through the Hope For The Warriors® holiday initiative that provided gifts to Marine Corps families in the Camp Lejeune area.

   We ask you to keep SSgt Harms and his family in your thoughts this holiday season and honor him for his dedicated and loyal service to our country and the Marine Corps.

   This holiday season you can Give A Gift of Hope in honor of SSgt Harms' selfless service and sacrifices. Click here to learn how.

"We're honored to partner with Hope for the Warriors and the Warrior's Wish program to provide resources and support for those who have served our country,"
 said Greg Longstreet, President and CEO of CytoSport, Inc., the parent company to the Muscle Milk brand.