Philanthropy-Joining Forces anniversary continues to unite philanthropy and veterans

Philanthropy-Joining Forces anniversary continues to unite philanthropy and veterans

Posted on May 26, 2015 by Linda Gould, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

One year ago, more than 30 national philanthropic leaders pledged $200 million of their resources to support veterans and their families as part of the Philanthropy–Joining Forces Impact Pledge, which partners the White House’s Joining Forces campaign with philanthropic leaders from across the country.

Representatives from those organizations and more came together on May 12 to discuss their progress over this past year. Highlights from the morning plenary program included remarks from government leaders, including Robert McDonald, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Brigadier Gen. Ivan Denton with the National Guard Bureau. In addition, a session on caring and caregiving was led by Sen. Elizabeth Dole of The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and Lee Woodruff, an author and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

At least six new organizations were recognized for joining and pledging resources that bring the total commitment to date to $276 million. Afternoon breakout sessions brought a myriad of important topics and sessions that focused on learning and sharing best practices, connecting interested parties to resources and highlighting the work of the Joining Forces Impact Pledgers and their partnerships.

The Patterson Foundation is one of the original philanthropic foundations that committed to the pledge and successfully completed their commitment of more than $15 million through its Military Initiative in November 2014.

In partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs – National Cemetery Administration, this initiative, which began in 2009, focused on the design, construction and gift to the nation of Patriot Plaza - a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at the Sarasota National Cemetery. In addition to being the first enhancement to a national cemetery funded completely by a private foundation, Patriot Plaza is a lasting tribute honoring our veterans, and also highlights the importance of burial services provided to our heroes and their families.

Leading up to the completion of Patriot Plaza, the Legacy of Valor campaign was a call to action throughout Southwest Florida that brought together more than 100 community partners to host over 200 community events that honored veterans, inspired patriotism and embraced freedom.

This past fall, the Veterans Legacy Summit, a three-day series of events held in Sarasota, Florida, was the culmination of the Military Initiative, which showcased not only Patriot Plaza but local and national veterans’ service organizations and their ongoing and vital support to veterans and their families.

Sharing the results and impact of their Military Initiative with foundations, organizations and communities nationwide, The Patterson Foundation hopes to strengthen the knowledge and understanding that collaboration creates new realities. In order to keep the momentum moving forward and continue to build awareness, The Patterson Foundation is sharing all the lessons learned throughout the process to enhance Sarasota National Cemetery. The donation of Patriot Plaza will remain a gift in perpetuity to our region and the nation.

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