A Personal Message from Gary Sinise
December 31st, 2013
As we say goodbye to 2013, I wanted to take a moment to offer my sincerest thank you. With your help, the Gary Sinise Foundation has been able to accomplish some wonderful things to support the men and women who serve and sacrifice each day for our freedom and security.
This year, we were able to expand our Serving Heroes program to include additional airport USOs and military hospitals. By providing a world-class meal as a show of gratitude, we ensure that our deploying troops, returning and transitioning defenders as well wounded heroes and hospital staff members know we are there for them as they continue to serve our country.
Our Arts & Entertainment Outreach now includes a partnership with the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, California. By engaging theaters across the country to provide a performance and meal free-of-charge to our veterans, we're strengthening the bonds between our defenders and their communities through cultural experiences. We will extend this program to even more theaters in the coming year.
By expanding the Relief & Resiliency Outreach, we were able to increase the emergency funding we provide to families of the fallen. Not only are these families coping with the pain and anguish of losing a loved one, they often struggle to meet the financial challenges of everyday life. Your support has allowed us to assist these families during their times of urgent need.
With your help, we provided funding to the Prescott Arizona Fire Department Administration in support of the 19 families of firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew who were killed in the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire this summer. We also supported the Black Forest Fire Department in Colorado after a blaze in June that left two dead, 22 square miles burned and 480 homes destroyed. This volunteer fire department lost many expensive pieces of equipment while battling the flames, including radios and fire hoses. Thanks to our donors, the equipment will be replaced. And once more, we were able to support two great FDNY organizations - Friends of Firefighters and Fire Family Transport Foundation.
You can also take pride in knowing your generosity helped us bring our Invincible Spirit Festivals to military hospitals across the nation. These events provide a much-needed morale boost and respite for those enduring the challenges of rehabilitation from serious battlefield injuries. We're pleased to announce that three more Invincible Spirit Festivals are already scheduled for 2014.
Through our R.I.S.E. Outreach (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), several Lt. Dan Band concerts raised additional funds that will continue our program to provide specially-designed Smart Homes for our most severely wounded heroes and their families. Many of these homes are already underway and several of our recipients will be handed keys to their new homes in 2014.
These are just a few of the accomplishments made possible by your generosity. Without your help, our outreach simply would not be possible. I wanted to personally thank you so much for all you've done in support of our mission. Over the years, as I have traveled across the globe and been welcomed by our military and first responder communities, I have seen first-hand the tremendous need. After a dozen years at war, America will continue to feel the residual effects. With the commitment of friends and supporters like you, the Gary Sinise Foundation will be there to honor and serve those needs for many years to come.
If you haven't already watched it, be sure to check out our 2014 video.