Donors and supporters of Operation Hat Trick need to know how their donations and support positively affect the everyday lives of service members and veterans recovering from visible and invisible injuries. Your donations and support help fill the gaps in the care our injured service members and veterans need so they can resume living their lives to the fullest. Below are some examples of how OHT and its donors and supporters have impacted the lives of our heroes who return from war with many physical and emotional injuries.
They Promised to Defend. We Promise to Support.
- The Adaptive Training Foundation exists to empower the human athlete, restore hope through movement and redefine the limits of individuals with disabilities. ATF creates customized training programs that RESTORE, RECALIBRATE, and REDEPLOY. One significant group at ATF is the Veterans group where often “broken”, depressed and pain filled veterans have given up hope that they will ever return to being a contributing member of society. ATF takes these veterans and through their specialized programs, teaches them how to achieve their weight, pain reduction, strength, flexibility, mobility and cardiovascular-goals giving them once again a sense of purpose.Operation Hat Trick has help fund the ATF Veterans program enabling them to grow and serve more of those in need
- The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, MACV, is an organization that provides assistance to veterans and their families today and tomorrow and the need continues as veterans have returned home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Operation Hat Trick has specifically helped MACV in Duluth, MN with their homeless population and those veterans who suffer from PTSD.
– 2,000 inquiries for assistance each month are received by MACV offices, almost 25,000 annually
– Over 1,800 veterans were directly assisted with comprehensive services
– Since 1990 MACV has been able to help 10,000 veterans and their families
As one veteran commented, “Words cannot express what your help has done for me and my family. I am not use to asking for help,but you put my fears to rest and I now have hope in my heart”.
- Northeast Passage – Through a partnership with NEP and their PATH program, which helps recovering veterans throughout New England acclimate back into society, OHT pays for part-time staff enabling the program to grow from five clients to 68 in two years. Thanks to PATH and OHT, John, a former sniper and sharpshooter with a career-ending shoulder injury and PTSD, was able to leave his home where he had been a recluse and join archery classes. OHT paid for a custom-made bow that allowed John to replicate his sharpshooting skills and return to being a productive member of his community.
- Yellow Ribbon Fund – The Yellow Ribbon Fund is a national organization based in Washington, D.C. that fills the needs of wounded and recovering service members and their families while the service member is in the hospital. OHT has contributed to 220 requests for assistance. While service members and veterans are in the hospital being treated for their injuries, they and their families have significant needs. Families move into the area while their loved one is being treated (they can be in the hospital area for up to a year or more) and often need access to transportation, temporary living accommodations, etc.
Veterans Count – Veterans Count is a division of Easter Seals. Veterans Count provides recovering veterans with emergency assistance in 24 to 48 hours. This assistance includes food, rent, fuel, counseling and more. Since its inception 10 years ago,VC’s services to the military has been significant and extremely impactful. In some small way,OHT has helped make a difference with:
- 4,686 service members,veterans,and their families (9,458 individuals) were served
- Care Coordintors intervened in 110 cases of significant suicide risk
- Homelessness was prevented for 988 at-risk families. 773 homeless families were secured permanent housing
- 2,207 individuals were successfully engaged in treatment previously untreated mental health or adjustment issues
- 10,907 referrals were made to community and military resources
- Ironstone Farm – Ironstone Farm operates an equine program designed to help homeless veterans attend retreats and work with horses during their recovery from substance abuse, PTSD, and other effects of war. OHT established a three-year fellowship with Ironstone Farm where staff has been hired to promote, implement and manage this program.The program’s first attendee is now substance free, employed, in a relationship, and has his own apartment that he shares with his dog.
Outreach from the program resulted in a local police chief, who is a veteran, adopting this program for his first responders who are also veterans. After continued meetings with other police and fire chiefs in the area, they have proposed making this a mandatory program for all veterans who graduate from there academies. Forty percent of those who graduate from the police and fire academies are veterans.
- Steve – Steve has PTSD and lost the last three jobs he held. Badly needing a service dog, something the government and his benefits do not pay for, Steve was able to raise some of the funds on his own. He received grants from Semper Fi and The Yellow Ribbon Fund, but was still could not afford the hefty price of a service dog. Steve then reached out to OHT to offset the $33,000 cost of training and purchasing a service dog. Through a partnership with the Yellow Ribbon Fund, OHT was able to donate the remainder of the money Steve needed to get the service dog he needed and deservedSteve said to OHT: “Your generous donation has allowed me to quit worrying about how to finish paying for my service dog and focus on the training that will allow him to help me reintegrate back into society. Thank you so much for giving me this peace of mind.”
- Armed Forces YMCA – The Armed Force YMCA at the Naval Hospital in San Diego is designed to help service members recovering from the visible and invisible wounds of war. Everyday items like shoes for prosthetic legs or food for the simulated kitchens where arm amputees go to learn how to peel an apple or cut a potato are not provided by current benefits. Treatment goes far beyond shoes and food in a simulated environment, however. As patients begin to recover they need therapeutic care, fine and gross motor skills training, mental health services throughout patient, and many suffering from PTSD and TBI are in need of service dogs. Together this is where OHT and the Armed Forces YMCA have been able to fill some of those gaps in coverage. OHT has contributed to the YMCA’s efforts, which have helped more than 800 veterans get service dogs, provided in-patient recreational service to another 2,000, and therapeutic services to almost 600 more. It has also provided items such as adaptive clothing and gasoline cards to 2000-plus veterans, making up for gaps in their benefits