A community wraps its arms around veterans

A community wraps its arms around veterans

Posted on May 20, 2014 by Alicia Chalmers

WOW! That is the best word to describe the past 18 months. What an amazing year spent having a front-row seat watching our community wrap their arms around honoring veterans, inspiring patriotism, and embracing freedom through Legacy of Valor.

Before this journey began, I felt like I was patriotic. My grandfather was career military, retiring from the Army as a Colonel. But I have learned much more than I expected about the military and veterans from our community and fellow Legacy of Valor Coordinator Linda Gould, also a retired Army Colonel.

I am so grateful for everything I have learned, but most of all to witness our community rally around Legacy of Valor, a movement that has touched so many people. When we were first in the community sharing about the campaign, it was difficult at times to convey what it was all about as someone working to develop partnerships in the context of a "campaign" or "movement."

The objectives were clear: honor veterans, inspire patriotism, embrace freedom, but The Patterson Foundation (TPF) has unique way of partnering beyond a check. We wanted each organization working with Legacy of Valor to partner with other groups and organizations. While this was the "TPF way," nothing like this had ever been done before in our community, so it was a new concept to everyone.

From start to finish, our partners thought of creative and innovative ways to showcase their points of view honoring veterans and their families. It was so fun and rewarding to work with partners and literally play in their sandboxes and watch ideas unfold to reality. All of the partners were unique and special in their own ways and added to the dynamic of the Legacy of Valor family we were gathering together.

Part of being a partner of the Legacy of Valor meant benefiting from capacity-building trainings. Partners were able to participate in workshops in the areas of social media, strategic communications, fundraising, and collaboration.

Here's a glimpse into some of the campaign's outcomes. More outcomes will be shared as other consultants share their perspectives.

• 100 collaborative partnerships - New and existing relationships were formed and strengthened

• Partners hosted more than 200 events, programs, and activities within the four-county area. There was something for everyone!

• 475,000 touches of Legacy of Valor into people's lives

• 32,000 direct conversations by Legacy of Valor team members

With all of this wonderful community enthusiasm around veterans and their families, we look forward to the dedication of Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery fully funded by The Patterson Foundation. This space will be a new place of pride for our community and a lasting reminder of how our community first came together for veterans, their families, and their service and sacrifice.

These ripple effects will be a part of our community embracing Patriot Plaza for generations to come.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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