Making Impact with the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The transition from military service to civilian life can be challenging, and organizations that focus on the well-being of veterans while empowering them to continue their service are important. The Mission Continues (TMC) is a shining example of such an organization, dedicated to transforming communities through the involvement of veterans. With a focus on increasing social connectedness and improving the mental health of veterans, TMC has created a platform that not only empowers veterans but also leaves a lasting, positive impact on society.
TMC celebrated the start of the 2022 NFL football season with Operation Kickoff, in collaboration between NFL-BWF Salute to Service, in Los Angeles. The event centered around the renovation of Compton VFW Post 5394, founded by Black Vietnam veterans in 1965 and supported by the LA Rams, volunteers, and organizations including NFL Green and Verizon Wireless. More than 60 volunteers, including veterans, worked together to overhaul the post, plant gardens, paint walls and a mural.
Building Bonds, Making Impact
The NFL-BWF Salute to Service program focuses on community building, investing in initiatives like The Mission Continues (TMC) Service Platoon Program. Through this program, veterans engage in community service projects alongside peers and locals, fostering camaraderie and belonging. This community support is crucial during the transition to civilian life, and the NFL-BWF grants enhance the impact of the Service Platoon Program, reinforcing our commitment to resilient veteran communities.
The Service Platoon Program is tailored to address the specific needs of partner communities in more than 40+ cities across the country. Whether it’s building planters for community gardens, painting murals, or enhancing parks, each project contributes to the community’s betterment. The program also provides veterans with leadership opportunities. Serving as platoon leaders allows veterans to leverage their unique skills while fostering deeper connections with their peers and communities. This engagement reduces the risk of social isolation by promoting mental and emotional well-being.
Fostering Community for Veteran Wellbeing
“The COVID-19 pandemic renewed attention to the connection between social isolation and mental health. Social support fostered by engagement with programs like The Mission Continues’ Service Platoon Program, is an important protective factor against suicide,” explains Emily Bader, senior director of investments at BWF. “We’re pleased to have The Mission Continues in our NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Community portfolio, which is full of organizations helping veterans build out their social networks and improving their physical and mental well-being.”
A new 2023 NFL-BWF Salute to Service grant builds on the longstanding relationship across our organizations and will specifically support opportunities for 75 platoon leaders and leadership team members in communities across the country.