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Archive for September, 2013

1240451_494877707275238_1438834639_nNewman’s Own Foundation is taking its commitment to military personnel, veterans, and their families to the next level, by giving $180,000 to organizations that help those who serve. A select group of military service nonprofits has been invited by the Foundation to raise money and compete for additional funds, and Operation Homefront is proud to be selected to take part.

Click for Operation Homefront’s Fundraising Page on Crowdrise

Here’s how it works…

– The Challenge starts on Monday, September 30, at 12:00 pm ET and ends Monday, November 11, at 11:59:59 am ET

– Only charities that have been pre-selected by Newman’s Own Foundation are eligible to compete and win

– The charity that raises the most during the Challenge wins a $75,000 grant.

– Second place gets $50,000

– Third place gets $25,000

– Another $30,000 will be given throughout the campaign, through weekly ‘Bonus Challenges’

About Newman’s Own Foundation

Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $380 million to thousands of charities around the world. For more information, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org.

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The phone rang at 11PM.  My brother, living across the country in NYC, has just returned from a business trip overseas, and was suffering from a serious case of jet lag.  It was the wee hours for him, but he knew he could call his Sis on the West Coast for a chin wag. My husband had just left for a deployment days earlier, and I was feeling a little down.  I can remember tears streaming down my face and my stomach hurting from laughing so much as he regaled me with stories of his trip. We reminisced about things we did as kids (that our Mom never found out about) and shared those inside jokes that are unique to people who have spent a lifetime growing up together. It was one of those great phone calls that are precious, and seem all too rare, in these days of busy, busy, busy.

That was 12 years ago.  The date?  9/10/2001.

At this time of the year, I find my thoughts wandering back to the call with my brother. I can remember the call word for word, where I was sitting, what I was wearing, even the weather. I wonder about the providence of that call, and how the next morning the world descended into chaos.  As if the universe just knew that something would be needed to sustain us through the next days and weeks of grief and questions ahead. Some conversations you will never forget.

As I drove my daughter to school this morning, on a beautiful sunny say, I remembered how absolutely and stunningly gorgeous the morning of September 11, 2001 was.  And how that beauty was shattered with a tragedy unbearable to witness. Some images you will never forget.

And as I stopped at the local Walgreens on the way home, the clerk asked me at checkout if I wanted to donate a treat for the troops overseas.  This is a regular occurrence, and I am disheartened from time to time to see the double take some people will do, confused looks on their faces, as if to say, “Wait… they’re still over there?.  Sometimes, I am tempted to ask if they know where “there’ is.  Kind of scared of the answer.  Seems like it is all too easy to forget.

Our military, veterans and their families… we should never forget. And our battles are not just being fought overseas, they are also being fought here at home.

Veterans and wounded warriors are still waiting far too long for their benefits. The Veterans Administration has made progress in clearing the backlog, but the wait times and number of cases pending is still considerable. As of 6/24/3012, 65% of claims are past the 125 target period for resolution.  Over 800,000 claims still pending all together.  This delay can place many of our veterans at risk of homelessness, increases their anxiety and stress, and creates hardship and struggle for their families at a time when they need all of their strength and energy for healing and moving forward.

More heartbreaking is the knowledge that combat will never end for some of our veterans.  Journalist David Wood’s recent comprehensive piece, Invisible Casualties, for the Huffington Post reveals the new battle front for our military and VA: suicide prevention. It is estimated that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. While not all are considered related to combat duty, and include all veterans who served, the evidence is mounting that more than a decade of combat is taking a toll. Rates for post 9/11 combat veterans have at least doubled since 2001, and there is indication that this rate is increasing.  More veterans have died by suicide this year than have in combat in Afghanistan.

Since Operation Homefront was founded shortly after 9/11, we have met over 750,000 needs for military families. With the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Iraq and the ongoing drawdown of troop levels in Afghanistan, some Americans may think that the need for support of these heroes is ending as well. In reality, requests for emergency aid for these heroic families have spiked, and Operation Homefront’s caseworkers are working overtime to keep up with requests for assistance.

How Can I Help?

Connect up with your local Operation Homefront Field Office to see how you can help military families in your area.  Operation Homefront also regularly updates our Current Needs page with assistance requests, and you can join us on our fantastic Social Media communities.  Our friends at Operation Gratitude and Soldiers Angels make sure no one feel forgotten through care packages and other morale programs.  Learn more about the issues facing our military families and veterans by visiting Real Warriors or IAVA.  National Military Family Association (NMFA) and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA are addressing legislative issues that have impact on our families, such as sequestration and budget cuts. If you own a company, hire a vet.  But the simplest act can be just to saying, “Thank you for your service”.

In the words of then serving President George W. Bush, in the days after 9/11, “Our nation — this generation — will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”

Help us not fail our military families and veterans by never forgetting the great gift of freedom they have and continue to ensure for us all and for generations to come.

 

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Find Murphy-Goode’s Homefront Red and snap a shot! And you could win a trip to Sonoma County, CA!

Murphy-Goode is supporting American troops and their families with a very special wine, 2011 Homefront Red. Proceeds from the sale of the wine will benefit Operation Homefront.

Get in on the action!

Go find a bottle of 2011 Homefront Red at your local retailer. Snap a picture of you with the wine and post it to our Facebook wall or Twitter page with the hashtag #GoodeTimes. We’ll take your photo, put it in a Facebook album and you can share with friends and family and ask them to vote. We’ll take the top 25 photos and pick a grand prize winner and two runner-up winners to receive $3000 in amazing prizes. But each of the top 25 will get something special just for being chosen. No purchase is necessary.

Grand Prize:  An amazing two-day/three-night stay at the Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg, CA in the heart of Sonoma County. The trip includes flights, lodging, car shuttle and $500 spending money and a special VIP tour of the Murphy-Goode winery and lunch with their Grill Sergeant at the vineyard.

The contest starts on Sept. 3 and ends at noon EDT on Sept. 10. Voting runs Sept. 12-17 and ends promptly at noon EDT, Sept. 17. After that, we’ll contact those who submitted the top 25 photos that got the most likes to fill out a quick questionnaire. We’ll post the winners on or about Sept. 24.

How to Enter:

  • Find or purchase a bottle of 2011 Homefront Red at a local retailer. If you can’t find any, you can request it by talking to a manager to see if they can purchase it.
  • Take a photo of yourself with a bottle of Murphy-Goode 2011 Homefront Red. Extra points for:
    • Creative scene/situation
    • Patriotic themes
    • Lots of people in the picture (no minors, please)
    • Clever captions
  • Submit your best photo on our Facebook wall, or tweet it to us @Op_Homefront. Use hashtag #GoodeTimes. Only one entry per fan or follower will be considered.
  • The entry period closes at noon EDT on Sept. 10. Next, on Sept. 12, we will post photos to a FB Photo Album. Send your friends, relatives, acquaintances to view the album and “like” their favorites.
  • The top 25 photos with the most “likes” will be eligible to win the top prizes. Each entrant in the top 25 must fill out a quick questionnaire so we can get more details to consider for the Grand Prize.

Who May Enter:

  • Anyone who follows us on Facebook or Twitter and is over 21 years of age can enter our Goode Times Photo Contest.

How To Win:

  • Find or purchase a bottle of 2011 Homefront Red at a local retailer. If you can’t find any, you can request it by talking to a manager to see if they can purchase it.
  • Take a photo of yourself (alone or with tons of friends) with the bottle of wine. Please make sure label is clearly visible. Please no minors in any photos.
  • Post your photo and comment/caption to the Operation Homefront Facebook wall or Twitter page. Use hashtag #GoodeTimes. Encourage your friends to vote for your photo to be chosen as one of the top 25 to be considered for the grand prize and additional prizes.
  • Once the contest closes, we’ll take the top 25 favorite photos and announce the winners within 7 days. Each entrant in the top 25 must fill out a quick questionnaire so we can get more details to consider for the Grand Prize. The top winners will be chosen independent of total likes. However, we will take into account the number of likes on each photo to help in the selection process.
  • Once selected, the winners will be contacted and will need to provide any remaining details related to their prizes and be willing to complete and send us a Giveaway (Signature of Requestor) form to verify identity.

Prizes:

  • Grand Prize: For the winner and one guest, a trip to Sonoma County (Healdsburg, CA) for an amazing 2-day/3-night stay at the Hotel Healdsburg in Healdsburg, CA. Includes flight, car shuttle, lodging and $500 cash for spending money (approximate value $2800) and a VIP tour of the Murphy-Goode Winery and lunc with the Grill Sergeant at the vineyard. We’ll work with your schedule and take care of the details of the trip.
  • Runner-up Prize: $300 gift certificate to Walmart.
  • Third Place Prize: $100 gift certificate to Omaha Steaks.
  • All top 25 finalists will receive a complementary bottle of Murphy-Goode’s 2011 Homefront Red and Operation Homefront t-shirt.

 Click here for complete rules and details

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