Chris Hayes on Why The Mission Continues’ Unique Model Is Not Replaceable

September 25, 2018

On September 18th we hosted our annual Commitment to Service Breakfast, a gathering of individuals who believe in supporting our work. This year’s event was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan.

Our president, Spencer Kympton and our Northeast Region executive director Mohan Sivaloganathan welcomed guests with opening remarks. We also heard from Joey Whimple about his transformative experience volunteering with The Mission Continues.

Loree Sutton, Commissioner at New York City Department of Veterans Services presented us with a Certificate of Recognition for our contributions to veterans in New York City. We also bestowed Community Solutions’ Brownsville Partnership with our Commitment to Service Award. Taurean Lewis, Resource Specialist for Community Solutions and Brownsville resident, accepted the award.

Our keynote speaker was Chris Hayes, Host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. His speech was so moving that we wanted to share it with you in full:

Continue reading “Chris Hayes on Why The Mission Continues’ Unique Model Is Not Replaceable”

Veterans With The Mission Continues Unite in Service to Honor the Anniversary of 9/11

PRESS RELEASE

Month-Long Service Campaign to Create Transformational Community Change

NEW YORK (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 — This September, over 500 veteran volunteers from The Mission Continues are uniting in service, with support from The Starbucks Foundation, to honor the 17th anniversary of September 11, 2001. The Mission Continues is a nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to find growth, purpose, and connection through community impact.

In reverence for those affected and who served in the wake of 9/11, The Mission Continues has organized United in Service, a month-long campaign of inspired community service projects. Nationwide, 55 veteran-led service platoons will mobilize to tackle local needs such as under-resourced schools, disaster relief and safe access to green space.

Continue reading “Veterans With The Mission Continues Unite in Service to Honor the Anniversary of 9/11”

It’s a Seattle Block Party! Veterans Support Immigrant and Refugee Communities

August 24, 2018

 Volunteers celebrating the day’s accomplishments.

On Saturday, August 11th, 2018, more than 100 veterans, community members and partner volunteers reported for duty in Seattle’s International District for the 2018 Seattle Service Block Party. For this day of service, volunteers focused on driving local impact on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities in the heart of Seattle’s International District.

With support from Starbucks, The Mission Continues volunteers collaborated with The Danny Woo Community Garden and InterIm CDA to help beautify the neighborhood. This synergy was riding on the initial momentum garnered by the Schultz Family Foundation, who gave initial support for the Service Platoon Program’s spread to Seattle.

Continue reading “It’s a Seattle Block Party! Veterans Support Immigrant and Refugee Communities”

CarMax Cares About Operation Watts Is Worth It

August 7, 2018

A Slice of Life from Operation Watts Is Worth It

Hundreds of gallons of paint covering walls with colorful murals, tools of all kinds shuttling between busy arms, and coolers of donated water and stockpiles of sunscreen keeping volunteers protected in the waning summer sun were all part of a typical scene at this year’s weeklong Mass Deployment.

Called Operation Watts Is Worth It, this year’s Mass Deployment was a community service project of grand proportions, with over 100 veterans serving arm in arm for a week of nonstop service. Veterans along with community partners and sponsors transformed five different project sites across the Watts community in Los Angeles.

CarMax employee volunteer at Operation Watts is Worth It.

All throughout the commotion of each busy project day, our volunteers remained focused on the mission with the support of our trusted partners there serving alongside them.

Partners like CarMax, for the second year in a row, stepped up to support a Mass Deployment. As the 2018 Platinum Sponsor for Operation Watts Is Worth It, CarMax made this opportunity for community impact and connection among our veterans a reality.

Take a look at what this unique service experience was like and the work accomplished with the support of volunteers from local CarMax branches who showed up in force! Continue reading “CarMax Cares About Operation Watts Is Worth It”

Reporting For Duty: An Update To Our Partners

August 1, 2018

As a valued partner of The Mission Continues, you deserve our transparency. I am committed to being open and honest with you in good times, as well as in challenging ones. Today, I am excited to share new developments about our organization and our work.

More importantly, I want to assure you that despite the turbulence of the first half of this year, we press forward – unabated – on our mission to empower veterans to grow, connect, and find purpose through community impact.

 

New fuel for our mission

In the first half of 2018, several new partners joined our network of support. We also created collaborations with longtime donors to support veterans and communities in unique new ways. These meaningful investments reflect our partners’ vision, dedication and generosity. The combination of this support, with unwavering support from all of our donors, energizes us and fuels our continued impact. Thank you for your faith in us and for your commitment to report for duty alongside us.

A sampling of new donors and partners that have increased their commitment to the organization in 2018 so far, include:

  • Diageo
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • The Schultz Foundation
  • The Bob Woodruff Foundation

 

New leaders driving the mission

We’re proud to share that last month, we named Doug Pfeffer the new Executive Director of the West Region, Dr. Kate Thomas as Director, Service Leadership Corps and Angel Torres the new Executive Director of the Midwest Region.

Doug was promoted from his role as Senior City Impact Manager for Seattle, where he grew our Pacific Northwest operations into some of the most highly-engaged units in the country. Doug served a combined 24 years on active duty with the United States Navy and the United States Army. Prior to joining The Mission Continues in 2016, Doug was the Executive Director for Rainier Therapeutic Riding, an equine therapy nonprofit focused on veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress. Doug will lead the West Region from our Seattle office.

Kate is a professor, researcher, published author, and proven thought leader in the field of mental health promotion for military personnel. Prior to embarking on her academic career, she was a Marine Corps Military Police Officer leading teams in law enforcement, training, and combat commands—including a combat deployment in 2005 to Fallujah, Iraq. Kate holds a Ph.D. in public health promotion with graduate degrees in management and women’s studies. Kate is based in our Washington, DC office.

Prior to joining The Mission Continues, Angel spent 27 years in the United States Navy, leading one of the Navy’s first Non-Compliant Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) teams. He was selected for a commission to Chief Warrant Officer in December 2011 and worked with the US State Department. He has also spearheaded numerous community outreach and involvement projects throughout his naval career. He currently serves as the co-chair for the Veteran Leadership Council of Chicago.

 

Still reporting for duty

Our third annual Mass Deployment – Operation Watts Is Worth It – was an enormous success, driving impact in Los Angeles’ historic Watts neighborhood. Over a week of coordinated, large-scale service projects, engaging more than 1,000 volunteers including veterans, corporate partners, and local organizations, the team provided a surge of resources to strengthen under-resourced schools, revitalize aging public housing, and reinvigorate under-utilized community spaces. See some of the powerful images here.

Mark your calendars for 2019’s Mass Deployment, Operation Charm City Charge, taking place next summer in Baltimore!

Our Summer Service Slam brought more than 400 veterans and community volunteers together in eight cities from coast-to-coast throughout the month of July. In Kansas City, we joined forces to help refurbish and beautify an elementary school on the west side. See here the coverage in the Kansas City Star “The mission really does continue; Charity moves out of shadow cast by Greitens.”

We’re now planning more than 40 service projects to honor those who stepped up to serve in the wake of the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago. Check out our calendar of events and sign up to serve alongside local veterans at project in your community.

Our 9/11 calendar of events in your community

 

Continuing our mission

As you may be aware, formal investigations involving former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens are drawing to a close. The Mission Continues cooperated with all official requests related to these proceedings, and as stated before, we did not provide, nor authorize the use of, private donor information for political activity. We also demonstrated that the actions and decisions of our founder are not consistent with our vision, mission, or core values. We look forward to putting this chapter behind us.

You place great trust in us, and we value that trust enormously. We respect your feedback, and over the past few months, we have embarked on further steps to ensure we continue to earn that trust:

  • We conducted an all-staff training to reinforce our guidelines pursuant to our non-partisan status, including a review of all related regulations and policies.
  • In keeping with best practices, we strengthened internal controls on our data processes and technology access and reviewed our donor and website privacy policies.
  • Daily, we hold each other accountable to acting in accordance with our core values, which represent everything we stand for as an organization.

 

Our gratitude

None of this work is possible without you. The collective action of the veterans, donors and volunteers who report for duty with us generate tremendous value in communities nationwide. We are stronger than ever, and we expect to continue this mission long into the future, with historic levels of impact.

Thank you for walking this path with us, and for your continued support.

 

Charlie Mike,

Spencer Kympton
President, The Mission Continues

A Letter to Our Veterans: Thank You for Continuing to Make Our Nation’s Communities Stronger

July 10, 2018

To our veterans:

A burning desire to serve others bonds all veterans – across generations, geographies, and demographics. That desire rests in the heart of The Mission Continues. I have been uniquely privileged to see that desire – your desire – in action over the last seven years. And I am humbled by what you have been able to achieve.  

In recent months, I have been saddened and frustrated that the unacceptable decisions and actions of our founder, former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, have unfairly cast a shadow over that desire, and the significant impact we’ve had.

I recognize that the last 6 months have likely also saddened and frustrated you too. As our frontline leaders, you have likely had to help others make sense of this situation. You may have faced unwelcome scrutiny from the community, from your team members and partners, and even from the media. I’m sure it was uncomfortable, stressful, or disheartening.

Regardless of someone’s history with The Mission Continues, we do not stand by actions that violate the core values we all strive to embody. And as uncomfortable as it may be, we must not fail to pronounce that.

I want to make this clear to you: the actions of one individual will never detract from our achievements. Communities across the country are stronger because of your sweat and grit. No one can take that away from us.

I cannot adequately convey my gratitude for your steadfast leadership during this time. In the face of adversity, you did what we perhaps do best: continue the mission. You had to…because veterans’ desire to grow, connect, and serve has not waned over the last 6 months. And the problems we address in communities have certainly not gone away.

  • To our platoon leadership: Thank you for leading in your city—encouraging other veterans to mobilize, organize, and participate in your service projects to benefit your community.
  • To our fellows: Thank you for your enduring focus on your volunteer service, and your dedication to growing through serving.  
  • To our volunteers: Thank you for continuing to show up en masse – for working hard and for committing yourself to improving our local communities.
  • To all: Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. You are The Mission Continues.

When you look at our ongoing operations across the country, you see that we are stronger than ever. And I look forward to finishing 2018 with historic levels of impact, and an unabated desire for more.

 

Reporting for duty,

Spencer Kympton
President, The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues Celebrates Growth, New Opportunities With Diverse Donor Investments

PRESS RELEASE

The veterans’ nonprofit engages new donors and increases established investments to support veterans and communities nationwide.

NEW YORK (PRWEB) JUNE 26, 2018, 2018 — The Mission Continues is expanding its base of supporters with several new donor partnerships and increased strategic investments from existing donors. These developments will provide additional capacity, furthering the organization’s mission of empowering veterans to find growth, purpose and connection through community service.

New donors to The Mission Continues’ growing list of supporters include Kaiser Permanente and Diageo North America. The organization also received strategic funding from two of its existing partners, The Bob Woodruff Foundation and The Schultz Family Foundation. Through these partnerships, the organization will collaborate on cause-marketing campaigns, corporate social responsibility initiatives and new opportunities to support their growing programs.

“Enduring commitments from our donors both fuel us and motivate us as we continue to drive impact in communities,” said Spencer Kympton, U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. “We are locking arms with our terrific partners in cities across the country – and together we are effecting positive change for veterans and for the communities in which they live.”

Kaiser Permanente, one of the newest partnerships, is already jumping into action, supporting the third-annual Mass Deployment – Operation Watts Is Worth It – benefiting Los Angeles’ historic Watts neighborhood from June 21-28.

“Community service is in our DNA at Kaiser Permanente and as a veteran myself it’s an honor to help empower other veterans to serve their communities,” said Jim Branchick, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. “With the Kaiser Permanente Watts Counseling and Learning Center, we’ve been part of the community for 50 years and being a part of Operation Watts is Worth It is an extension of that commitment.” Continue reading “The Mission Continues Celebrates Growth, New Opportunities With Diverse Donor Investments”

The Mission Continues to Deploy Veterans to Help Revitalize Los Angeles’ Watts Neighborhood

PRESS RELEASE

The veterans’ nonprofit seeks to create ongoing improvement to strengthen historic LA neighborhood with its third-annual Mass Deployment, “Operation Watts Is Worth It”

The veterans are volunteers with The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to find growth, purpose and connection through community impact. Although the nonprofit has been active in the neighborhood for years, the week-long service marathon, dubbed Operation Watts Is Worth It, will provide a surge of resources to benefit under-resourced schools, aging public housing, under-utilized community spaces and much more.

“The Watts neighborhood has a long-established and vibrant identity, and it has preserved it in the face of a wide range of challenges,” said Spencer Kympton, U.S. Army veteran and president of The Mission Continues. “Through their service, our veterans, partners and community volunteers seek to help the Watts community sustain its identity well into the future.” Continue reading “The Mission Continues to Deploy Veterans to Help Revitalize Los Angeles’ Watts Neighborhood”

An Update on Today’s Report, and Veteran Impact Nationwide

May 2, 2018

To our partners:

Over two consecutive weekends The Mission Continues veterans, alongside hundreds of volunteers, engaged in purposeful action in communities across the country. To mark Earth Day, we completed nearly 30 Earth Day service projects cleaning up parks and other natural landscapes and beautified schools and community green spaces. This past weekend we held our third-annual Women Veterans Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. This year’s summit, themed Unapologetically Her, brought together nearly 80 of the most impressive, engaged and committed women veterans, local women leaders and volunteers to help champion a movement for all women to write their own rules on how they will live, work and lead.

While we remain steadfastly focused on our mission, we want to share an update involving the investigations of Governor Eric Greitens. As we have said from the beginning, and reiterate here, we abstain from political activities. We deeply value the trust you place in us to accomplish our mission. The Mission Continues did not provide, nor authorize the use of, our donors’ information to any persons or groups for political/campaign purposes. Nor did we promote Governor Greitens for political office.

Earlier today, Missouri State Representative Jay Barnes and the Missouri House Committee released a report with its latest findings regarding The Mission Continues donor list. The report demonstrates The Mission Continues followed all established policies and did not provide, nor authorize the use of, private donor information to the Greitens Group or others affiliated with the Greitens campaign for political purposes.

The full report and findings can be read here.

Continue reading “An Update on Today’s Report, and Veteran Impact Nationwide”

Continuing Progress, Continuing the Mission

March 23, 2018

Over the past few weeks, The Mission Continues has been pushing forward in our mission to empower veterans and communities in service. Unfortunately, we have also been a part of an on-going news cycle surrounding the reported actions of Eric Greitens and the Greitens for Governor campaign. The stories surrounding the Greitens investigations continue to cite connections to The Mission Continues. We are supporting various document requests and are fully cooperating with the agencies that are reviewing this situation. We look forward to the completion of those efforts in a timely manner.

We are committed to providing you with the latest information as it pertains to our organization and our involvement in supporting the Missouri-based agencies who are investigating the Governor. Most importantly, we want you to be confident that we are building on and advancing our mission toward even greater impact on veterans and communities.

Continue reading “Continuing Progress, Continuing the Mission”