2014 Winners

Overall Winning Entry

$50,000 AWARD

Operation Warm Embrace

The Veterans Group, Philadelphia, PA

Located in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia, Operation Warm Embrace’s mission is to empower Veterans who are facing transitional or addiction challenges to once again become productive members of society. The organization does this through the operation of a 43 bed transitional housing facility. The warm and inclusive environment helps to reestablish the Veterans’ self-esteem and dignity, as being with other Veterans with similar experiences and challenges helps foster trust, growth and recovery. The Veterans are provided job skills and training at on-site Education and Wellness Center, and when ready, job and educational opportunities are coordinated by the organization with local businesses and universities. For more information, contact Matt Dunphy (mdunphy@theveteransgroup.org) or visit www.theveteransgroup.org.

$37,500 AWARD

MISSION: Youth Outreach

Boys & Girls Club of Cypress, Cypress, CA

Boys & Girls Club of Cypress provides youth development program services and transportation from school to the Club at no-cost to children with parents serving in the military. Youth participate in high-quality, research-based programs that guide and encourage them to achieve Academic Success, lead Healthy Lifestyles, and demonstrate Good Character and Citizenship. All military youth will have access to mentoring, tutoring and leadership development opportunities. All participating children will receive one hour of academic / homework assistance each school day. Youth will also be matched with a professional and caring adult staff or volunteer who will serve as their mentor. For more information, contact Justin Winford (jwinford@bgccypressorg) or visit www.boysandgirlsclubofcypress.com.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc., Storrs, CT

The UConn Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), offered at no cost to participants, leverages the outstanding faculty of the UConn School of Business to provide service-connected disabled veterans with cutting edge training in entrepreneurship and small business management. A consortium consisting of eight world class schools offers the EBV program nationwide. For more information, contact Michael J. Zacchea, LtCol USMC (Ret.) (michael.zacchea@business.uconn.edu) or visit ebv.business.uconn.edu.

Support of Children of our Fallen

Angels of America’s Fallen, Colorado Springs, CO

Angels of America’s Fallen (AOAFallen) provides long-term developmental support for the children of America’s fallen military and first responders. Focusing on mentor and coach-based activities, AOAFallen helps each child discover a passion or interest, and funds that activity during the child’s most critical developmental years (until they turn 18). In supporting these children, AOAFallen honors their parent, recognizes the child’s ongoing sacrifice, and seeks to stand with them during the crucial time between loss of their parent and adulthood. For more information, contact Joe Lewis (joelewis@aoafallen.org) or visit www.aoafallen.org.

Adopt a Vet Dental Program

Community Health Alliance, Reno, NV

The Adopt a Vet Dental Program provides quality dental care to low-income veterans by recruiting dental professionals to donate their services and raises funds to offset dental lab and emergency dental care costs. This program has changed the lives of our low-income veterans because it has improved their overall health and self-esteem, allowed them to eat and digest their food properly, and after years of suffering, they are pain free and can smile again. The veterans feel so good about themselves, they pay it forward to other veterans. For more information, contact Linda Haigh (lhaigh@chanevada.org).