A new year brings new opportunities and new challenges. It also marks the 16th year that our nation has been at war. Many of our military remain deployed with their families left behind to hold the fort down. During these extended deployments, emergencies happen and it is important that our nonprofits fill the gaps that our government does not. One small elite branch of our military is the 7,000 members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Bomb Disposal community. This profession is literally the most dangerous job in the world and like most elite military communities; the EOD community is supported by a nonprofit organization called the EOD Warrior Foundation. The mission of this foundation is to improve the quality of life for the EOD family by providing emergency financial relief, scholarship opportunities, physical, social, and emotional support.
“Our organization supports the EOD family at large,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “We understand the sacrifices made both by the EOD technicians and their family members and we want to do all that we can to support them.”
EOD technicians are highly trained military members serving in the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force and are responsible for disarming, rendering safe, and disposing of bombs. These brave men and women willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and property of others. In current conflicts, bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are responsible for the majority of fatalities and severe injuries to our troops. When EODs technicians are wounded, they sustain some of the most severe and often life-changing injuries including loss of limbs, burns, paralysis, blindness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
All revenue raised by the foundation comes from private funding sources. Here are some fun-filled ways that people can help EOD veterans in 2017:
Give wine gifts. Helping EOD techs is a breeze when you make the switch to purchase charity wine, which makes a great gift. Offered by Tackitt Family Vineyards, a small, family-owned winery that is located in Paso Robles, California. There are six varieties of wine with the EOD Cellars label, which benefits the EOD Warrior Foundation. The line includes reds and whites, as well as gift boxed sets. Wines in the collection include The Keeper, Basic Blaster Red, Senior Blaster Red, Master Blaster Red, Willie Pete White, and Det Cord White.
Get creative. Everyone has the ability to volunteer to help right in their own community. They can do this by organizing an event or fundraiser that benefits the EOD Warrior Foundation. People can raise funds by having a yard sale, hosting a ‘paint and sip’ night, organizing a gym fitness challenge, holding a bake sale, or planning a community chili cook-off.
Be daring. The EOD Warrior Foundation offers a variety of events all year long that people can get involved in, with the funds raised helping those in need. Check the organization’s online events page to get registered throughout the year for events such as polar plunges, golf tournaments, bike rides, motorcycle rides, auctions, races, and more. Taking a polar plunge into the frigid water is a fun-filled way to help raise money for a good cause.
Spread the message. Many people are not aware that EOD technicians and their families often need assistance. Make a goal to help raise awareness by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper or a magazine, sharing information on social media, and by holding a fun campaign to get the word out. Follow the foundation on Facebook and help spread the word.
“Last year, we provided over $200,000 in college scholarships, helped replace household items that were lost to fire, and helped numerous techs to spend time at healing retreats,” adds Motsek. “We did that and so much more, but we can’t do it without the continued support of our donors. We appreciate every effort that people make in support of our important mission.”
To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, visit the website: www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.