|5/17/2016 1:31:00 PM|
Local donations go a long way in helping
By Craig RullmanThe people who inhabit Sisters Country are generous. There are any number of projects in the community that simply would not survive without the financial contributions of our friends, neighbors, and local businesses. Whether it's a My Own Two Hands fundraiser for Sisters Folk Festival programs - enormously successful this year - donations of food to the food bank, cut-rate catering services, or hours of unpaid volunteer work, Sisters folk keep giving.
In a small town like Sisters, the hat gets passed frequently, and repeatedly, and miraculously, people keep giving of money, or time, or both. No one could blame the fine folks of our community if a measure of donor fatigue were setting in. Here's hoping it won't.
If you are looking for a worthy cause to contribute too, please consider a financial contribution to Sisters based Warfighter Outfitters, a 501(c)(3) founded by Brett Miller, who was severely wounded in the Iraq war. The mission of Warfighter Outfitters is to get combat wounded veterans out on the land hunting, or on the waters fishing, or out into our nation's National Parks for engagement missions, where veterans from around the country assemble to assist local officials in understaffed improvement projects.
Last year, Warfighter Outfitters served over 1,000 combat disabled veterans, more than two large offices of the Wounded Warrior Project combined. They have a goal to serve 2,000 this year.
Sadly, there are more veterans than money to serve them.
100 percent of donations to Warfighter Outfitters go directly to fund the veteran outings. When the donations come in, the trips go out. There is no reserve, no account held back "for a rainy day." Grants from larger foundations are used to pay for the equipment to support these missions, such as fishing rods and reels, boats, trailers, and the trucks to haul them.
A relatively small donation of a couple hundred dollars can have a big impact. It only takes $150 to get four veterans out on the water for a fly fishing trip.
Warfighter Outfitters is providing a tremendous service, and quite likely saving lives. The hunting, fishing, and engagement trips serve as therapy on the water, or in the woods, where those who have been wounded in combat can re-integrate into civilian life, learn a new hobby, or simply get out of the house with people who have similar experiences. It would be difficult to overstate how important that can be to veterans who might find themselves feeling cut off, or shelved, after being wounded in combat.
This simple, direct approach to helping disabled veterans is working, as the long list of applicants waiting for trips shows. In the veteran community, the word is out: a single fishing trip with fellow veterans can often do more good than an entire of year of counseling at the VA. No one leaves a Warfighter Outfitters event as a stranger, and at a time when veteran suicides are escalating exponentially, the cause could not be more prescient, or pressing.
It is an adage of military service to leave no one behind. Warfighter Outfitters is striving to accomplish precisely that, and to turn no one away. Please consider a donation, with the confidence that it will be spent wisely and on a worthy mission.
Learn more at www.facebook.com/warfighteroutfitters/. Tax deductible donations can be made directly at: www.warfighteroutfitters.org.
Craig Rullman serves on the board of directors of Warfighter Outfitters.
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