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:
- 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.
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.
President, The Mission Continues