This year I celebrated my one-year anniversary at the helm of Boot Campaign, and I found my footing.
It’s been a privilege in my 27 trips across this great nation to share the message of what it means to live laced up for those who serve. Wearing my boots helped me boldly enter corporate board rooms, convention centers, sporting clays ranges, CBS SEAL Team sets, and innovative treatment and training facilities to ignite important conversations. Ones that created opportunity to shine a light on the soul of our mission at Boot Campaign.
And thanks to your belief in how we help the military community, here’s what we’ve achieved together in 2018:
- More than 850 grateful Americans laced up by donating generously to give back to all who raised their right hand and took the oath to defend and protect the United States of America and all those who call her home.
- Nearly 2000 patriots followed our lead and purchased Boot Campaign footwear, hats and shirts to directly support our efforts to provide life-improving programs to military families nationwide.
- Upwards of 20 million people on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter joined our #LaceUpAmerica movement to wear Boot Campaign boots year round.
- 200 military family members were directly impacted by our health and wellness program; veterans like Trever and Elizabeth shared their journey to inspire others to reach out for help to receive care.
- We’ve cultivated relationships with others who serve the military community exceptionally well like Marcus Institute for Brain Health, Warrior’s Heart and Emory and Shepherd Center’s SHARE program.
- More than 220 active duty military, veterans and their families received the Christmas they so deserve thanks to Boot Campaign’s Santa Boots program.
- We donated more than 1400 pairs of boots to homeless veterans and other military service organizations across the country.
- Paralyzed Boot Campaign veteran ambassador and health and wellness program participant Ricky Raley cycled if forward for more than 1500 miles so other veterans could receive the same care he did…and guess what? He’s doing it again beginning in April 2019, so stay tuned on how you can take part!
- Boot Campaign was accredited by the Better Business Bureau and we were selected as one of 26 national veteran and military service non profits that meet the 20 stringent standards.
- We continue a years long Gold rating from Guidestar and have been named one of the nation’s Great Nonprofits.
- I’m proud to say that our ratio of dollars raised to dollars given back directly to military families has improved; we expect it to increase from 81 cents to 85 cents on the dollar given back to military families and look forward to sharing our independently audited financials with you in early 2019.
In 2018, as a nation we marked the 17-year anniversary of the most recent wars. For nearly two decades, we have turned off our cable news at night, powered down our social media, and gone to bed taking for granted the fact that we are protected by millions of men and women who take up their arms, lace up their boots, bid families and friends farewell, to walk boldly into hostility to protect our rights to work, play and live as we please, each and every day.
Though less than one percent of Americans have served in the armed forces, the 99% of us who haven’t served have an obligation to say thank you and do more. When veterans from any past or present conflict come back, it’s our responsibility to give back. Let’s lace up our boots and walk alongside in celebration, in remembrance and in honor of those who have served and sacrificed for us all. Join us to make 2019 a better one for the military community! Get your boots on and give back. Live laced up.