SARASOTA, Fla. (April 30, 2014) – The Patterson Foundation is among more than 30 leading national philanthropies and corporations committing resources to a more than $170 million pledge in support of veterans and their families over the next five years. The Patterson Foundation has contributed $13.75 million to the pledge, the total amount of funds committed to its ongoing veterans initiatives.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, announced today by the White House’s Joining Forces campaign at an event presented by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee, encourages philanthropies to continue to support veterans and military families and commit to collaborating with and learning from one another. The funder-initiated campaign, led by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation aims to strengthen the national funder network supporting these populations.
The national pledge is designed to support the 2.2 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families. Following years of conflict, separation and deployment, our service members and their loved ones face obstacles as they return to normal life. The organizations contributing to the pledge have agreed to combine their resources and knowledge to remedy these issues collaboratively, providing veterans with the support they need to continue their invaluable service to the nation through 2019.
The Patterson Foundation is submitting to the pledge $13.75 million in resources and services from its work with the Legacy of Valor campaign, its donation of Patriot Plaza to the National Cemetery Administration, and other veterans-focused efforts.
"We have a successful history of honoring veterans, inspiring patriotism and embracing freedom through the Legacy of Valor campaign and now through Patriot Plaza, the ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “Just 12 percent of qualified veterans take advantage of the burial benefit for themselves, their spouses and minor children at the 131 national cemeteries across the country. Through this pledge, we hope to raise awareness about this benefit and more.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, General George Casey (ret.), who is the former Chief of Staff of the Army, U.S. Teen Poet Laureate and military child Michaela Coplen, and representatives from the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, Blue Shield of California Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Points of Light, Bank of America, and Blue Star Families shared their remarks at today’s event.
To learn more about Patriot Plaza, The Patterson Foundation’s first-of-a-kind public-private partnership with the National Cemetery Administration, please visit www.patriotplaza.thepattersonfoundation.org.
About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation works with partners to accelerate positive change, sharing fresh perspectives on strategy, contributing new ideas and providing resources. We believe we’re stronger together – that the act of creative collaboration produces results and knowledge that can be applied more broadly to transcend any single act of philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org.
About Joining Forces
Joining Forces was created to address the unique challenges and needs of military families that Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have heard firsthand during meetings with military spouses, briefings with military leaders, and many visits to military communities at home and abroad, and through their work on military family priorities. Building on this groundwork, the initiative will focus on key priority areas – employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families. To learn more, please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces.