Two local nonprofits serving military, veterans and their families merged in January 2020.
Together, The Home Front Cares and Peak Military Care Network became Home Front Military Network. The mission: "Bringing hope and help to our heroes."
It has been a busy collaboration. During 2020 and 2021, calls for assistance and information took a major jump. This August alone the office received 1,100 calls, said Executive Director Kate Hatten.
During pandemic times there were $340,000 in grants for one-time emergency financial assistance.
HFMN also provides guidance to find resources and support systems. There are 50 partner agencies providing focused services, including holistic. There is education and training and there are workshops.
For their first fundraising event Sept. 16, HFMN board, staff, volunteers and supporters were treated to an evening at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum to kick off an inaugural Healthy Together Week.
Socially distanced throughout the museum, attendees read the sports histories and tried their hands, and feet, at interactive participation.
Featured speaker Wrestle Like a Girl founder and executive director Sally Roberts shared her mission "to grow females in sport and life."
An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan as well as an Olympic wrestling champion, Roberts said, "My story isn’t golden, and it’s not a fairy tale. It’s an American tale that is woven together with grit, tenacity, resilience and intestinal fortitude. I am not unique. I am a wrestler. A soldier. And I love my country.”
During the days following opening evening, there was a 5k run and walk, yoga in the park and a popular pickleball tournament. The nonprofit's assistant director Jennifer Wilson reported later, "Pickleball Tournament Director Alia Rieker was able to provide advice, experience and even taught us a new appreciation for the sport."
Wilson said Healthy Together Week had been designed "to raise awareness and promote the mental and physical wellness of our service members, veterans and their families." In addition, it raised $25,000.
Upcoming: Honoring the Brave Breakfast, Dec.1, Broadmoor International Center, homefrontmilitarynetwork.org