Honoring our Veterans through workplace giving

In observance of Veterans Day 2017, we would like to encourage King County employees to give back to the men and women who have served to make America the land of the free. Here are some nonprofits who work to support veterans:

Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors (9525) PO Box 704 Snohomish, WA 98291 – provides emergency assistance, morale building programs, and innovative therapeutic services for Wounded Warriors and their families.

Last year, Heartbeat assisted 4,730 Wounded Warrior families. Although the organization’s primary focus is families, 20% of soldiers are single. Most notably, Heartbeat recently began providing assistance to disabled children of wounded warriors in their Equine program.

With limited staff, Heartbeat relies heavily on volunteers; at the moment, there are 100 volunteers donating their time to wounded veterans and their families. Due to staffing constraints, Heartbeat is unable to attend giving expos like the one that took place November 1, in Chinook. “King County Giving Program has been so helpful about getting our name out,” Treasurer Janet Raulerson said. “Junelle is one of the kindest people I have interacted with and always willing to help.”

Below is a letter from a Wounded Warrior spouse that highlights the remarkable work and assistance provided by Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors.

A heartfelt letter from a Wounded Warrior Spouse regarding Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors K9 Healing Warriors Program

Dear Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors,

I am a spouse of a wounded warrior. I just wanted to reach out and explain how much this program has changed not only my husband’s life but mine as well. When I first met my husband he was a high functioning person and now he’s the complete opposite. While my husband was serving in the military he did acquire many different disabilities. My Husband shouldn’t be left alone. He is a danger to himself and others. He’s not mentally all their anymore.

He has no short term memory, no sense of day or time. He can’t make rash decisions. All of those things on top of his mental disabilities make it impossible for him to work. He tries really hard to work but he keeps getting fired due to his inability to perform.

We lost everything when he got out of the military. Heartbeat took us from being homeless living out of the car, to living in an apartment. Life isn’t easy being the sole provider. On top of working 2 jobs, I have to take care of my husband and make sure he doesn’t do anything crazy. I love my husband so much, but it’s not easy. Some days we can’t even get to the front door without him freaking out. He can’t go anywhere or do anything unless I am with him. HBSWW recommended that we have our puppy become a service dog through K9 Healing Warriors. My husband thought that was a great idea but wasn’t sure about it. He went and decided, yes, he could handle doing this training.

Here we are 3-4 months later and my husband can go places by himself. He is able to be more independent with his service dog. His service dog calms him down before he can start to have a freak out. The dog reminds him to take his medicine. When he is having a freak out, the dog is trained to attack him with kisses and hugs… yes hugs! When going out in public, his service dog is trained to block people from getting too close to my husband and to monitor him and ensure that he is safe and secure. He is so well trained in fact, that he is able to sense when my husband is about to start having issues and can remove him from those situations and breaks his attention. The dog is literally trained to find the door in a store and take my husband through it to get him away from whatever it is that is triggering him.

Life is hard but Heartbeat has made life a little less stressful. I have never been so thankful. I can’t explain how much this program has helped us. Thank you so much for everything.

A grateful spouse

Here are two more nonprofit organizations that are doing work with veterans and their families!

  • Special Operations Warrior Foundation (2800) O. Box 89367 Tampa, FL 33689 – Provide scholarship grants and counseling to children of special operations who die in the line of duty. Provide financial assistance to wounded special operations personnel.
  • Operation Ward 57 (9469) PO Box 80055 Seattle, WA 98108 – Support wounded and ill warriors & their families by providing items that assist in recovery, maintenance & morale & through advocacy, education & promotion of their circumstances.

or find more here on our website. 

King County employees can donate to as many as 20 nonprofit organizations of their choice through payroll. The last day to make time donations is November 17.

This year’s goal is $2 million, and as of Wednesday, Nov. 8, King County employees have contributed $731,726, 38% of this year’s goal. Every donation made through the Employee Giving Program is tax deductible.

For additional questions, contact your EGP Ambassador, email EmployeeGiving@KingCounty.gov or call 206-263-9405.

11/17 – Tuesday
12 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Annual Giving Drive Ends TIME DONATIONS DUE

12/5 – Tuesday
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Chinook, Executive Conference Room
Kitty Cafe