Why Detroit? Why The Mission Continues? It’s Easy—These Are My People

By Heather Byington, Service Leadership Corps member

When I left home in 1993, I vowed I’d never come back for anything longer than a visit. Home was Detroit. What I didn’t realize until I had some separation was that the negative feelings I had about the city were a result of my home life and the fact that one of my friends had been carjacked. He was murdered at 19, and his killers were 15 and 16-years old.

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The Road to Mass Deployment

By Janet Newsome, Senior Regional Admissions Specialist

The Mission Continues has officially launched applications for our 4th Mass Deployment, Operation Charm City Charge (OC3), which will take place for one week in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland in June 2019! As any previous attendee can attest, the Mass Deployment experience is more than just a week of high-impact volunteerism in one city. It’s an investment in yourself as a community leader.

With all of this excitement circling around Mass Deployment, we want to offer you a behind-the-scenes look at our selection process! (Shhh…don’t tell anyone! It’s supposed to be a secret!!!)

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Including Women in our Stories of Service

By Aryanna Berringer, volunteer

No one’s story should be suppressed or ignored, but all too often, that is the case for women veterans. We strive to empower women veterans to be leaders in and through our programs. We want to highlight one such story in anticipation of our 4th annual Women Veterans Leadership Summit and in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Aryanna Berringer is a Women Veterans Leadership Summit attendee and an active volunteer with our Pittsburgh service platoons. Here is her story as told by her. If you’re as inspired by these stories as we are, consider donating. Your support empowers women veterans to realize their full potential as civic leaders.

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San Antonio Veteran Jeremy Noble Reflects on Value of Continued Service

When I began my after-service journey I found it extremely hard to find a field of work that pushed me to achieve greatness as Special Forces once did when I was serving. A friend of mine who was a fellow veteran told me about a fellowship program with The Mission Continues. This program would allow me to continue my service through working with non-profits. I instantly dove forward with a 100% commitment. Along my new journey I began to regain confidence in myself and set college and business goals for the next 5-10 years.

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Introducing Operation Charm City Charge: Here’s Why We Chose Baltimore

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.

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The Impact of Operation Watts Is Worth It

September 12, 2018

This summer was FULL of impact, from the Summer Service Slam, Mass Deployment, a jam-packed schedule of service projects throughout the country (rockin’ it, as usual), and a ton of impressive Service Leadership Corps applications. 

Mass Deployment 2018–Operation Watts Is Worth It was a unique service opportunity, and we wanted to share the results with you. See for yourself what veterans accomplished in Watts!

Thank you to all the veterans who stepped up to SERVE AGAIN this summer! Know that you are leading positive change through your commitment to your communities. We can’t wait to see you for our September United In Service campaign!

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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”

Why Watts Is Worth It

June 29, 2018
By Regan Turner, West Region Executive Director

The Mission Continues launched our service platoon program in Los Angeles just over four years ago. Since then, we have engaged more than 1,000 local veterans and community members in service with our three service platoons, and have grown our local staff from two remote employees to seven full-time staff in an office in the LA Promise Zone.

It was actually right here in Los Angeles that The Mission Continues piloted our very first “operation,” which has now become our national model for collaboration and community impact.

Thanks to encouragement and introductions made by our friends at Bad Robot and The Wasserman Foundation, we connected with an organization called the Partnership for LA Schools more than three years ago.

The Partnership serves some of LA’s most under-resourced schools in Watts, Boyle Heights and South LA by providing their staff and community with additional resources to improve educational outcomes.

Local volunteers at Operation Watts Is Worth It

In speaking with the Partnership staff, we realized that they had not just one school in need of renovation work, but an entire portfolio of almost 20 schools that could use the help of The Mission Continues and our veterans.

Since our first project at Stephenson Middle School in 2015, The Mission Continues has performed more than 15 projects at Partnership Schools. We were honored to receive their Community Partner of the Year award in 2016.

Many of those school projects were in Watts, at Markham Middle School, Grape Street Elementary, Gompers Middle School, and 107th Elementary School, among others.

So last year, when The Mission Continues began looking across the country to determine the location of our 2018 Mass Deployment, Los Angeles — specifically Watts — was a natural choice. Continue reading “Why Watts Is Worth It”

Meet Your Mass Deployment 2018 Ambassadors

June 18, 2018

Meet the Ambassadors — veterans familiar with the ropes of Mass Deployment — who are going to lead teams of veterans to accomplish all of this impact! Taking on a leadership role involves fostering camaraderie, making sure their team accomplishes their tasks, and embodying what The Mission Continues family is all about.

So let’s see what they’re all about! Continue reading “Meet Your Mass Deployment 2018 Ambassadors”

Help Us Close a $10,000 Gap for Mass Deployment

June 6, 2018 
We’re coming to Los Angeles for our third annual Mass Deployment, Operation Watts Is Worth It (OWW)! Over the course of one week, The Mission Continues will deploy more than 80 military veterans from across the country to join forces and tackle tough challenges in the historic LA neighborhood of Watts.

In Watts, the median household income is $28,465, with 44% of households living below the poverty line, and 49% have no high school diploma or equivalent.

Participants will spend over five intense days of service at a variety of community sites; working alongside community partners, local youth and volunteers to create visible change.

There’s just one problem: we’re roughly $10,000 shy of our fundraising goal. Donate today to help us close our fundraising gap!

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