By Mohan Sivaloganathan, Northeast Executive Director
You don’t have to be world-famous to make an impact – you just have to dedicate the time, energy, and effort to work with your community from the ground-up and lead by example.
Derrick Clark, Navy Veteran and The Mission Continues Platoon Leader
For generations, our veterans have inspired people to affect positive change. Here in New York – a city that prides itself in coming together to advance the greater good – our veterans are continuing to step up on behalf of children and families.
From promoting healthy lifestyles to developing youth leadership to creating safe recreation spaces, veterans who serve with The Mission Continues are reclaiming a sense of purpose and gaining recognition as one of the city’s most vital levers for social impact.
As we look forward to 2019, we see that we’ve reached a tipping point for our work in New York City. In the coming year, we will activate more veterans than ever and truly position veterans at the forefront of the city’s service movement.
On Sunday, November 11th the Tampa Platoons brought together volunteers to transform the home of disabled Air Force veteran Gary Westmoreland in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough County.
Boeing recently announced a grant to The Mission Continues, a nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to find growth, purpose, and connection through community impact. With a notable footprint in over 55 cities nationwide, the funding will directly fuel The Mission Continues’ veteran volunteer force transforming under-resourced areas in Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; and Washington D.C.
The Mission Continues and Boeing share a deep-rooted commitment to veterans and positive community development. With Boeing’s contribution, The Mission Continues’ service platoons in these three cities will reach even greater local impact and engage increased numbers of veterans with a passion for service. Areas of focus for the service platoons address a wide range of challenges including neighborhood revitalization, homelessness, and educational inequality.
“For nearly seven years we have been proud to call Boeing a trusted partner and ally in our united efforts to empower veterans,” said Spencer Kympton, president of The Mission Continues. “Their renewed commitment to our operations in cities across the country advances our mission of veteran leaders building stronger communities through service.”
We’d like to share a compilation of just a few of the many service projects veteran and non-veteran volunteers accomplished in honor of Veterans Day. For us, Veterans Day is not about thanking veterans for their past service. Rather, we seek to redefine it as a day when we tell veterans they are STILL assets to their country, and they can serve again in new ways. So instead of saying “Thank you” — we say “We still need you–thank you for your CONTINUED service.”
Of course, our heartfelt thanks to our friends at BAE Systems, Inc., who made these projects possible through their support. We’ve had an incredible impact as a result!
Philadelphia, where our Philly service platoon members joined our friends at Travis Manion Foundation, Student Veterans of America, Team Red, White & Blue & Team Rubicon to serve alongside President George W. Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, and folks from the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
South Hills Platoon (Pittsburgh 3rd Platoon) supports of the food security, literacy and civic engagement of refugee and immigrant population in the South Hills communities of Pittsburgh. This Veterans Day project ensured that the community garden was cleared to borough standards and prepared them to sustain their garden for next year.
Together, members of the Bhutanese refugee community joined with area veterans and other volunteers to cleared the entire garden, with over 50 plots, and built 11 new garden beds.
I spent my early childhood in Mexico, where my father was a doctor and my mother was a nurse. Life was peaceful at first, but the cartels took that away, and we fled to the United States–leaving everything behind in an instant. I went from being a rich kid to living in an industrial ghost town. I felt attacked on all sides, as if everything about me was wrong. My language was wrong. My food was wrong. My clothes were wrong. My skin tone was wrong. Inside the home we were Mexican, butinside my head all I could hear was Be MORE American.
Neighbors vandalized our home, and classmates beat me up. One day as I was being pummeled by bullies, the kicks and blows suddenly fell away. I looked up to see the uniformed Marine Corps recruiter who had sent the bullies packing. In that moment, he was my superhero, and I wanted to be just like him.
So, you’ve decided it’s time for you to continue the mission by applying for one of our programs like Mass Deployment, Women Veterans Leadership Summit, or the Service Leadership Corps…..nice! We like you already. Now your mission is to make sure we know that continuing the mission without you would be mission impossible (see what I did there) by making it through our admissions process.
So, here are some tips for taking your application from excellent to elite!
We hosted our inaugural Commitment To Service Breakfast in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium AMG Lounge, with approximately 90 in attendance.
The venue was wonderful and attendees had the opportunity to tour the stadium and get a glimpse of the Falcons Practice!
John Tien our Board Chair kicked off the event with a welcome; Steve Cannon and our president, Spencer Kympton, had a “coffee side” chat; we recognized two of our platoon leaders, Kimia and Kareem Flournoy, who shared their personal journey, as well as Joshua Dickerson from Bellwood Boy’s and Girls Club, which was our first community partner in Atlanta.
Operation Charm City Charge takes place in Baltimore, Maryland over the week of June 20-27, 2019
Baltimore is a city with a diversity of voices. It was once at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement and home to luminaries such as Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B. Du Bois. Despite being the largest city in Maryland, Baltimore is now facing population decline due to high crime, an aging infrastructure and struggling local economy.
Comprised of over 50 neighborhoods, each known for their distinct character, many of these areas have been affected by segregation, mortgage discrimination, poverty, and unemployment.
The Mission Continues Hosts a Veterans Day Fundraising Event with Guest Speaker Mayor Sylvester Turner Followed by Day of Service at Center for Incarcerated Youth
On Friday, November 9, veterans and friends of The Mission Continues kicked off a week of Veterans Day observations by coming together at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum to celebrate their commitment to serving the Houston metro area.
On Saturday, November 3, veteran leaders drove large-scale impact in Orlando, Florida in celebration of Veterans Day. Saturday’s event is just the beginning of The Mission Continues’ Veterans Day service campaign, in which 50 cities will be celebrating veterans by joining forces with them in community impact.
Fifty platoon members from Miami, Broward County, Tampa, and Jacksonville joined Orlando 1st and 2nd Service Platoons for a high-impact project. Volunteers built furniture for displaced Puerto Rican families resettling in central Florida.
Hurricane Maria forced more than 2,000 Puerto Rican families to evacuate to central Florida with only their most personal possessions in tow, leaving behind heavier items such as furniture.