A Soldier’s Wish List (ASWL) – Founded in 2003, ASWL has a goal to fulfill as many “wishes” as we can for troops in combat areas. They also connect “troops” with “adopters” from all over the USA and other countries. They take extreme pride in being able serve their country and continue to keep in mind the sacrifice of the brave man and women protecting our freedoms. Here are a handful of some of their proudest achievements; the fulfilled wishes of one solider serving on the front lines in Afghanistan by delivering him Mexican food for his birthday, treated our troops wives to baby showers & road trips Christmas, delivered birthday gifts for our troop’s children, brought home a Sailor with colon cancer to see his parents, shipped over 150 microwaves to Iraq and Afghanistan and much more. With over 120K “adopters” (people helping to meet their goals) around the globe, they have fulfilled over 162,000 “wishes” from Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Their motto is; “If we can’t do it, we find a way or someone who can”. For additional information, please visit www.asoldierswishlist.org
Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride was formed after the death of LCpl Phillip Vinnedge who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. Phillip was a member of the Weapons Company of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and was killed in action on October 13th, 2010. We have created a rolling memorial to educate and build awareness of the sacrifices our fallen military men & women have made. Additionally, the Fallen Hero’s Dream Ride 1951 Chevy pickup truck is used to help promote organizations that have had an impact on Phillip’s life and the lives of those nearest to him. Through our “Dream Riders” events, our mission is to provide children that have lost a family member while serving in our military new fun experiences in the wake of the tragedy they have endured; “Because They Deserve Happy Memories”. Visit at: www.fallenherosdreamride.org
Fisher House – St. Louis- The St. Louis Fisher House is a non-profit organization established to provide “a home away from home” to the families and caregivers of our military men and women during their time of need. Since opening on July 28, 2010, the St. Louis VAMC Fisher House has been privileged to serve over several hundred families of Veterans and active duty military personnel.
Their 20 guest suites are available for families of Veterans receiving care at the St. Louis VA Medical Center and families of active duty personnel who have loved ones in other area facilities.
For additional information, please visit www.fisherhouseinstl.org
FOCUS Marines Foundation– FOCUS is not -for-profit corporation established in 2010 with the help and efforts of over 65 U.S. Marines in the St. Louis region, ranging in age from 30 to 80. It’s supporters have pooled their time, talents and financial resources to help the wounded warriors returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to make successful and rewarding transitions from military to civilian lives. Since its inception, FOCUS has been working tirelessly to understand the issues and develop effective support tools to aid in the transitioning process. Through an ever expanding network of military, business, academia, medical, not for profit and government agencies, FOCUS has become more effective at providing the comprehensive training needed. The five-day FOCUS course starts by addressing the core issues of combat stress, interpersonal relationships and self-awareness. The next step helps the participants visualize their goals and objectives and gives them the tools to begin to achieve their dreams. The final step helps them build a resume and then with coaching and by conducting mock job interviews, gives them insight, confidence and a new, positive attitude. Each class is limited to approximately 30 participants. For additional information, please visit https://focusmarinesfoundation.org/
Gateway Marine Families – The Gateway Marine Families are a local, live and in person support group for the families of newly recruited Marines and Marines alike. They were formed by fulfilling the quest of an USMC Recruiter to find answers to commonly asked questions and concerns that the parents and friends of poolies’ would oftentimes ask him about what to expect once their son or daughter joined the Corps. Heavily engaged with other community efforts to support our troops, they also host an annual Gold Star Mother’s Day ceremony on the last Sunday of September at John L. Brown Park in Woodson Terrace, MO.
For additional information, please visit www.squidoo.com/GatewayMarine
Homes for Heroes – Homes for Heroes is a company that affiliates with Realtors, lenders and other real estate-related service providers who offer substantial rebates and discounts to the Heroes who serve our nation and its communities every day. Their Heroes include military personnel, firefighters, law enforcement officers and others who make our communities a better place to live. Their mission is to provide extraordinary savings to local heroes who provide extraordinary services to our community every day.
For additional information, please visit www.homesforheroes.com
Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF)- The IMSFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit set up to provide immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) provides relief for financial needs that arise during hospitalization and recovery as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. Since establishing the fund in 2004, they’ve issued more than 34,000 grants totaling more than $54 million to thousands of our heroes and their families. Their mission is to help Marines, sailors, and their families meet their financial needs during difficult times. The Fund works closely with the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the hospitals nationwide to identify and assess the needs of specific families. For additional information, please visit www.semperfifund.org
Joshua Chamberlain Society (JCS)- The JCS is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization based here locally in St Louis, MO. Their goal is to aid severely wounded military service members and the families of killed-in-action members of our military who sacrificed all in our service. In what we believe is a unique mission, they adopt these severely wounded veterans as JCS Heroes, and they will stay part of the JCS family for the remainder of their lives, just as their injuries will be with them for the remainder of their lives. Just a few of their JCS Heroes include USMC Cpl. Todd Nicely and LCpl. Erik R. Heldt. For additional information, please visit www.chamberlainsociety.org
Little Patriots Embraced (LPE)- Little Patriots Embraced is a St. Louis-based 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that serves families of deployed military personnel, with a special focus on their children. In addition to providing emergency financial relief for families in crisis, LPE specializes in delivering ongoing emotional support, through our programs, to children who are experiencing the stress of extended separation caused by military deployment. LPE has served thousands of children in Missouri and Illinois and over twelve thousand children nationwide in the past six years. Their mission is to reduce the emotional and psychological stress faced by the families of the deployed U.S. military For additional information, please visit www.littlepatriotsembraced.org
The Marc Bulger Foundation(TMBF)- TMBF was established in 2007 and has since worked with various organizations including, the USO of Missouri, The BackStoppers, The Semper Fi Society of St. Louis and The St. Louis Police Foundation. Their primary objective is to provide support, encouragement, and comfort to members of the military, police force, and fire department by working with related organizations and creating necessary initiatives for service personnel. to support members of the military, police and fire personnel. The Foundation’s mission is to find innovative ways to provide funding to a diverse range of programs designed to benefit men and women in uniform, specifically, but not limited to, our men and women in the armed services as well as our police and fire personnel. For additional information, please visit www.themarcbulgerfoundation.com.
Marine Corps League (MCL)- Founded in 1923 by legendary Marine Corps Commandant John A. Lejeune, The Marine Corps League is the only Congressionally chartered United States Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the United States and was charted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in August of 1937. In the 48 states that they operate and within the over 1000 community-based detachments, the MCL currently boasts a membership of more than 76,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans and qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen. In Missouri alone, there are 20 detachments and 5 in the St. Louis and surrounding counties. One of their missions is to join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, to promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines. For additional information, please visit www.momcl.org (Dept. of MO MCL).
MarineParents.com– Founded in 2003 by the mother of USMC Corporal Derrick Jensen, Tracy Della Vecchia, and based out of Columbia, MO, MarineParents.com, Inc. is an IRS Approved 501(c)(3) public charity that provides education and support for Marine Corps families, a place to connect & share, support for Marines and provides community awareness programs for troop support. They do this by informing their members with reliable resources for information about the USMC, providing emotional and spiritual support and encouragement to one another, connecting USMC parents, spouses, family and friends of Marines and Recruits through their web site and providing allowing easy access to news, stories, and communications related to their Marines and Recruits to help other parents, spouses, family and friends feel more connected to their Marine or Recruit. For additional information, please visit www.marineparents.com
Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation (MC-LEF)- The (MC-LEF) is a 501(c)3 charity that provides scholarships to children of Marines and federal law enforcement personnel killed on duty or who died under extraordinary circumstances while serving the United States at home or abroad. It is listed as one of “America’s best charities” by the Independent Charities of America. Since its founding in 1995, the MC-LEF has distributed over $47 million to eligible children in addition to supporting numerous other related programs. Children of Marine or Federal law enforcement personnel who die while on active duty are eligible to receive $30,000 in maturity value EE Savings Bonds. Aside from one part-time employee, the organization is run entirely by volunteers. The Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation is based in New York City, with 5 additional to include St. Louis, MO. For additional information, please visit www.mclef.org.
Marine Corps Scholarship Fund (MCSF)- The MCSF is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to U.S. military families. Since 1962, the Foundation has provided more than 27,000 scholarships valued at over $67,000,000 for post-high school education to Marine Corps sons and daughters whose parents have been killed or wounded in combat or have demonstrated financial need. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Scholarship Foundation awarded 1,636 scholarships totaling nearly $5,000,000. This includes 45 students in Missouri. Their student recipients, raised with strong Marine Corps values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, graduate at a rate nearly 50% higher than the national average. In 2012, the Scholarship Foundation will celebrate their 50th year of honoring Marines by educating their children. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and how you can be a part of our mission, please visit www.mcsf.org
Military Order of the Devil Dogs (MODD)- The MODD is the honor society of the Marine Corps League. They promote good fellowship amongst the members of different Marine Corps League Detachments. The Order provides amusement and entertainment at all gatherings of the League, when and where advisable, preserves and strengthens the principles and ideals of the League, and maintains true allegiance to the United States of America and its Constitution and laws. It fosters and extends American institutions of freedom and defends America against all enemies foreign and domestic. The Order is also very active in raising funds for children’s hospitals, and associated charities. For additional information, please visit www.moddkennel.org
Missouri Military Memorial Foundation (MMMF)- The MMMF is a 501(c) non-profit organization founded and lead by Chris Andrews, Gold Star mother of Army SGT Amanda Pinson (KIA 3.16.06). The MMMF consists of a group of volunteers (family & friends of fallen military personnel) dedicated to raising money, via donations & various fundraisers, to build a monument in front of Soldier’s Memorial to honor Missouri’s fallen heroes who were either killed in action or a casualty of war while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom or the Desert Storm/Desert Shield conflicts. The MMMF will raise funds to erect a monument, to be located in downtown Saint Louis, to honor Missouri service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. For additional information, please visit www.missourimilitary.org
Missouri Friends of Injured Marines (MOFOIM)– Formally established in 2004, the MOFOIM hosts the Annual Missouri Friends of Injured Marines General James T. Conway Charity Golf Outing. The MOFOIM was conceived seven years ago by Howard Short M.D. who suggested creating the golf event to his friend, Allen Allred (former Marine Recon officer and good friend of General Conway). It was the general, a Missouri native, who suggested to Allred that the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF) was a good candidate for a charitable undertaking. Short, Allred and a select committee stage the event each year. In 2010, the MOFOIM Golf Outing sent $200,000 to the IMSFF at Camp Pendleton, CA. For his years of dedication and support to the USMC, last year Dr. Howard Short was designated “Honorary Marine” by the Commandant of the USMC. For additional information, please visit www.semperfigolf.com
Operation Homefront, MO Chapter- A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Operation Homefront was formed in February 2002. It was developed to support the families of deployed service members immediately following 9/11. Operation Homefront provides direct services to alleviate a military family’s or individual’s actual/complete emergency financial burden, as well as counseling and/or recovery support. Emergency financial assistance is in the form of checks paid directly to mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists and other providers. Other emergency funding assistance, which an applicant receives within 24 to 72 hours, includes the following: financial assistance, food, emergency home repairs, critical baby items: formula, food and diapers, home and appliance repair, furniture and household items, local moving assistance, community events, Wounded Warrior Transitional Family Housing and more. In 2010, through 23 chapters across the Nation, they met the needs of 167,348 military families and since its inception, they’ve provided $92 million dollars of funding to programs to benefit military families and $.95 of every dollar donated goes to their programs. For additional information, please visit www.operationhomefront.net/missouri
The Mission Continues – The Mission Continues, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded in 2007 after CEO Eric Greitens returned home from service in Iraq as a Navy SEAL. Upon his return, Eric visited with wounded Marines at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Without exception, each Marine expressed an unwavering desire to continue serving his country, even if he could no longer do so in the military. One young Marine even said this: “I lost my legs – that is all. I did not lose my desire to serve, or my pride in being an American.” Inspired, Eric used his own combat pay and two friends pitched in their military disability checks to found The Mission Continues. Their mission is to build an America where every returning veteran can serve again as a citizen leader, and where together we honor the fallen by living their values through service. For additional information, please visit www.missioncontinues.org
The USO – Missouri Inc.- The (James S. McDonnell) USO of Missouri, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization, whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare, and recreation-type services to our military personnel and their families in the state of Missouri and the Illinois counties of Madison, Jersey, St. Clair, and Monroe.. Established in 1981, the USO is located on the lower level of Terminal 1 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and expanded its services in 2006 by adding the 18,000 sq ft. location at Ft. Leonard Wood. Each year, the USO of Missouri Inc. provides services to more than 270,000 military personnel and their families and since their beginning, these same services have been provided to more than 4 million military personnel. Completely independent from the National USO, The USO of Missouri and all outreach functions are governed by a board of directors, not funded by the government, military or the United Way and funded solely by the generosity of our donors. For additional information, please click www.usostl.org
The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)- Founded in Virginia in 2002, The WWP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors” of the United States Armed Forces. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) works to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs in order to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation’s history. Their programs are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Under each of these program areas, WWP offers a variety of programs to meet a range of needs.
For additional information, please visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org
John Wilt Foundation – Established in 2009, The John Wilt Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded by his friends and family to honor and remember USMC 1st Lt John N Wilt in an effort to continue his legacy of friendship, faith, community, and giving.
In May of 2002, 1stLt. John Wilt was killed in an aircraft accident while undergoing flight officer training at NAS Pensacola, Florida. The Foundation currently raises funds and provides support to USMC/ military minded charities, such as the Fisher House, the Semper Fi Society, and the USO, in addition to local community programs and the original scholarship program. All funds raised are donated in John’s name to appropriate 501(c)3 organizations.
The purpose of the Foundation is to invoke positive change in the local and global communities, representing the love and friendship bestowed by John Wilt and in doing so continue his good works and honor his sacrifice. For additional information, please visit www.johnwiltfoundation.org