Thursday, July 31, 2014

Food Lion Supports Military Families All Year Round

Food Lion is once again supporting Hope For The Warriors® this summer by offering customers an opportunity to attend its annual “Thriller on the Griller” fundraising events through August at select North Carolina stores. And if that’s not reason enough to attend one of these fun summer events, here is a story of how Food Lion has always gone above and beyond to support the needs of the military community.

In November 2013, a veteran was referred to Hope For The Warriors® after having been medically retired from the Army six months prior.  In retirement, the veterans pay was reduced by a third, resulting in a significant financial hardship for this family of eight.  

When the veteran approached Hope For The Warriors® for assistance, he was already several months behind on various bills and still waiting for his VA disability compensation to be processed.  The family had been approved to receive assistance through South Carolina’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but they were still waiting to receive their first SNAP benefit.  

Hope For The Warriors® helped this family remain in their home by providing financial assistance with their rent payments, and Food Lion fed them during a difficult holiday season. Food Lion donated $700 worth of gift cards for this family to use on groceries while their finances were getting in order.  

Hope For The Warriors® continued to work with this family over several months until their financial crisis was resolved; the veteran finally received his first VA disability payment and the SNAP benefits came through as well.  The family expressed extreme gratitude for the assistance they received from both Hope For The Warriors® during this difficult period of transition in their lives.

Here is more information about the “Thriller on the Griller” schedule. Come out and show your support while enjoying what’s left of summer!

#tbt Marine Corps Marathon 2012

Hope For The Warriors® has bibs for the Marine Corps Marathon! Spread the word and register by Wednesday, August 6 to take advantage of this unique opportunity!

The 2014 Marine Corps Marathon is Sunday, October 26 in Washington, DC.

Monday, July 28, 2014

One Team Couple Shares Their Reason for Running the Marine Corps Marathon

Still wondering if you have what it takes to be part of Team Hope For The Warriors®? Longtime Team Hope For The Warriors® participant and supporter, Michele Guelfi, shares her reasons for joining the Team and supporting Hope For The Warriors® with her husband, Ed, over the years:

I made it into the NYC marathon by lottery so my husband, Ed, also an avid distance runner, wanted to find a charity he could support in order to run in the marathon as well.  After a few suggested charities he chose Hope For The Warriors® because, in his own words, it was a charity close to his heart.

Ed & Michele Guelfi at the 2013 Long Island Run For The Warriors®
Our son Cpt. Edward Guelfi was deployed to Afghanistan at the time and our son-in-law, Staff Sgt. Jim Broglie, was deployed to Kuwait. Our daughter, Sgt. Jillian Smith, is also active military and was deployed in April 2014. So, for us finding a charity that supports our military families felt like a perfect fit. 
From our first interaction with the Team in Manhattan, we were welcomed and embraced with support.  After running the marathon we knew we found a charitable organization that we could support whole-heartedly. Both of us are extremely active and race as often as we can find the time. Now linking up with Hope For The Warriors® and raising awareness and funds for this charity has given new meaning to all of our races. 

Michele Guelfi running the 2013 New York City Marathon
Running in the MCM with Hope For The Warriors® jerseys, will be another life changing experience for us. With all of the active military and military history involved in the Washington DC area, I know it will be an amazing event and a great way to honor all the men and woman that serve and have served this great country of ours.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


The 2014 Marine Corps Marathon is Sunday, October 26 in Washington DC and Team Hope For The Warriors® still has bibs! Register by August 6 so you don't miss out! 

And what is better than running the MCM? Running the MCM with a friend! Spread the word and connect with Team Hope For The Warriors® on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date. For more information about being part of the Marine Corps Marathon with Team Hope For The Warriors®, visit the registration page at

As a Team Hope For The Warriors® member, you will receive the following benefits:
2014 Bib/entry for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon
10% Discount code to purchase Team jersey and other gear
Team kit which includes fundraising and training plans 
Individualized online fundraising page
Access to the post-race tent
Team calendar
Quarterly e-newsletter
Access to the Team Facebook page, Hope For The Warriors® blog and Twitter 
Invites to Team events
New Kid's Hope For The Warriors® Team opportunities

Please contact Team Hope For The Warriors® Director, Steve Bartomioli, with any questions ( 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#tbt Got Heart, Give Hope® Gala 2010

Brendan Marrocco, USA, (Center) receives his 
Hope & Courage Award from host Gary Sinise (Left).

The 2014 Got Heart, Give Hope® Celebration in Los Angeles is Thursday, July 24 aboard the Battleship IOWA. Find out more about the event, venue, and Hope & Courage Award Honorees here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ride Across USA Completes Their Inspiring Journey

They travelled 35 days, 2,943.2 miles, 9 states, and had one mission of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to give HOPE to our warriors. Ride Across USA’s journey across America may be over, but they’re still doing tremendous work on our behalf.  

The team raised over $15 thousand to support Hope For The Warriors®, but it’s not too late to contribute to their cause! Visit their donation page to learn more about how you can impact the lives of service members and military families nationwide.

You can see the team one more time at the Florida Marlins game on Monday, July 28. As part of Heroes Monday at Marlins Park, they will be riding their bicycles onto the field and participating in pre-game events to continue spreading awareness about their journey to support Hope For The Warriors®.

To see more photos and learn more about their journey, visit the Ride Across USA website at

Thursday, July 17, 2014

#tbt Rockstar Mayhem

Rockstar Mayhem Concert 2011

It's summertime, and that means concert season! For the past few years we've seen a lot of support from the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, so today we acknowledge all they've done for us. The Festival is going on throughout the country for the rest of summer, so check out the schedule and artist lineup here

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Texas Networking Group Provides Many Opportunities to Local Veterans

Hope For The Warriors® is always impressed and honored when local military supporters reach out to involve us in their supportive community. We were recently contacted about a local networking group in the Dallas area led by professionals Ryan Holloway, Crystal D’Angelo, and Randy Watkins. The goal of their group, Veterans in Business, is to unite the pool of veterans looking for work in the Dallas community with local veteran-run businesses and entrepreneurs.

The group sees themselves as a conduit; trying to connect veterans while also helping local businesses prosper through this exposure will allow veterans to work with the population they want--other veterans! 

The group was started by Ryan Holloway, a Marine veteran, who organizes the group of over 400 local businesses professionals, veterans in transition and representatives from local nonprofits. Ryan met our very own Gus Cabarcas at the Dallas Veterans Resource Center and invited Gus to speak on behalf of Hope For The Warriors®. Before Veterans in Business, Ryan was an ambassador for the US Veterans Chamber of Commerce, which is what eventually led to the creation of the monthly Veterans in Business meetings. Ryan and another ambassador at the time were both hosting monthly networking meetings for veterans, so they took it upon themselves to rebrand the approach through monthly lunches in the north Dallas area and Veterans in Business was born.

Veterans in Business Members Present Hope For The Warriors® a Check Donation 

Ryan talks about how his background led him to his advocacy and involvement connecting local veterans to employment opportunities:

For me, I got out of the Marines back in 2002. I was recalled for a little bit, but at the time the job market was pretty rough and it took me a long time to find my way. I was working in different companies in corporate America, but there wasn’t anything out there for veterans locally as far as I was aware, so I wanted us all to work together through a grassroots connection. I never thought there was just one group out there doing everything for everyone, so it was a void we realized. We all want to work with veterans. I just like being around veterans. I view this as my “giving back” and like knowing at the end of the day that we’re getting veterans hired and getting the word out. We’re there as a resource helping the veterans land on their feet that much quicker.

The group is comprised solely of volunteers. It has no funding and all speakers and trainers are donated. Each organizer has a full time job outside of Veterans in Business; Crystal is a real estate agent who has worked extensively with veterans, Randy mortgages many home loans for veterans, and Ryan consults in the employee benefits and health insurance industry. They are all very aware of the gap in services to returning veterans, and, as Crystal says, they have a unique approach that sets them apart:

We get feedback that makes us unique. We come across as very welcoming. We have guys that just came back, completely in transition, they don’t know who to talk to so it’s nice for them to come in and hear someone. It’s a very relaxed environment that we want to come back to. They connect to us. It’s a nice environment for them to feel they have a place to come to once a month.

Ryan adds, “We get in what we all contribute.” 

And it seems their contributions are paying off in big ways, as they consistently get new members each month. They rely on past referrals and word of mouth to get members. And with these consistent numbers comes new projects and services they’re offering to the community. The group does a quarterly service project with other local service organizations that partake in their monthly meetings. Through this initiative, the group goes out, volunteers in the community, continuing the networking cycle one step further.

Veterans in Business is also focusing on career development this year by offering LinkedIn and social media training. They created a meetup site so members can go on and connect with one another and see the group’s upcoming events. Their meetup site is

Their services don’t end there, as they collect $2 from attendees each meeting to donate to local nonprofits. Gus, a frequent volunteer and meeting attendant, recently collected their generous donation to Hope For The Warriors®. The selfless nature of the leaders and, therefore, the group, is something all of us working to improve the lives of our communities can aspire to. 

We are beyond proud to support and partner with Veterans in Business and look forward to many future endeavors working to support local veterans. Their next meeting is Wednesday, July 9.