Empowering Veterans to lead the way
Our veterans and families of the fallen are uniquely positioned to lead, both due to their commitment to our country and their passion for service. In the midst of a global pandemic and a subsequent mental health crisis, TMF recognized that in order to put the strengths of veterans to work, we had to first ensure their mental health and wellness were intact. Our veterans and survivors were then able to move forward with addressing the needs of their communities, starting with youth who found themselves learning outside of traditional classroom walls and continuing to the larger community.
This year challenged us like no other, but it also allowed us to see what we are capable of, both as an organization and as a community. Answering the needs of our veterans and families of the fallen, adapting to the obstacles thrown at us, meeting and exceeding the goals we had for ourselves when it came to connecting with youth and addressing the needs of communities nationwide, it truly demonstrated the incredible resilience of TMF.
In the face of unprecedented challenges, TMF worked to engage our Veteran and Survivor Mentors and empower Spartans nationwide to make a difference in communities throughout the country. We pivoted many of our traditional initiatives to a virtual or hybrid format, which has increased our impact on students, veterans, and families of the fallen.
Civilians Engaged with TMF since our inception.
Empowering Veterans & Families of the Fallen to Develop Character in Future Generations
Families of the Fallen
TMF increased the number of veterans and families of the fallen we serve by bringing valuable mental health and wellness resources online through development of the Spartan Development Center. Sponsored by our official healthcare partner, Johnson & Johnson, the virtual hub makes offerings like our Leading With Your Strengths e-course accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also deepened the impact among our most engaged veterans and survivors through a series of regional summits as well as our newly-created 7-month Spartan Leadership Program. Sponsored by Boeing, the program uses a blend of virtual and in-person experiences to invest in those who we believe are uniquely positioned to motivate communities toward meaningful change.
Survivors to Serve
This year, when the pandemic took students out of schools where our Character Does Matter youth mentoring program took place, we knew we had to try a new method to connect and develop our youth. Powered by Under Armour, our CDM program moved online almost immediately after the pandemic hit, engaging students through a series of Facebook Live videos and Zoom calls led by Veteran and Survivor Mentors. Virtual engagements helped dramatically expand our reach, engaging 56,595 students in this year alone - tens of thousands more than we anticipated. Now that youth are making their way back into classrooms and community organizations, we’ve adopted a hybrid model to deliver our landmark program.
The isolation and mental health challenges of 2020-21 may have made our service to communities look different this year, but that didn’t reduce our impact. TMF called on our Spartan members to serve in place through small efforts like checking in on neighbors, distributing protective gear, cleaning up their neighborhoods, and delivering groceries to the elderly, as well as coordinated Operation Legacy service projects like monthly food drives in Chicago and Houston that safely helped veterans impacted by food insecurities. We saw nearly 3,000 Spartans, youth and their families clean up neighborhoods from Philadelphia to Seattle, stock local food pantries, and answer the call to serve in a number of different ways.
Instead of uniting communities physically this year, TMF brought people together in spirit by pivoting our major events like Manion WOD and our annual 9/11 Heroes Run to virtual experiences. We activated people nationwide to involve their families and neighborhood groups in our Manion WOD, created in honor of 1stLt Travis Manion, USMC. Instead of large-scale 9/11 Heroes Run events, TMF hosted a series of shadow runs in key communities and encouraged our Spartans to run together safely on their own. As a result, 15,000 people participated in remembering the names of our fallen, sharing their stories, and taking action in their honor. Moving forward, we’ve committed to maintaining virtual formats that have proven successful in uniting our communities and coupling them with in-person events that connect people in meaningful ways.
What I finally realized being part of TMF, is that I missed service. In the military, I had a purpose and a goal of serving my country. When I got out, I was missing that and I focused just on my own personal wealth, or well-being. Being able to do community service is something that I know will last for a long time. It's given me that sense of purpose and fulfillment that I was longing for.
TMF initiatives - from our Character Does Matter program to our 9/11 Heroes Run race series - take place in communities nationwide. The map below highlights locations of our regional offices, communities where local TMF chapters are active, and areas where we're looking to build engagement.
Additional Cities Where TMF has Programming
Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe
San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach
Lithia, Sarasota, Tampa, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach
Atlanta, Decatur, Fulton County, Marietta, Sharpsburg
Chicago, Naperville, Wheaton
Great Falls, Bozeman
New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Huntington, Wall
Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh
Doylestown (National Headquarters), Philadelphia, Delaware Valley, New Jersey
Austin, Georgetown, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Arlington
Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach
Greater Washington, DC
Prince George's County, Fairfax County
Since 2018, TMF has worked with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to assess the impact of our programs on the health, wellness, and thriving of our members and participants. Our 2019 IVMF report found the more our members engage with us, the more they experience positive growth. This year, we wanted to dig even deeper to ensure we were positively impacting the overall well-being and mental health of our Spartans. In addition to a member survey that utilized a 10-question Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT) scale, we worked with IVMF to conduct a series of interviews, and progress reports on short- and long-term effects of TMF programs on our members.
Research supports the impact we’re making
Like our work with IVMF, we know that our mission of empowering veterans and families of the fallen is most effectively carried out by taking a science-based approach. The foundation of all TMF initiatives is rooted in Positive Psychology, a field dedicated to studying factors that contribute to individual and community well-being. Based on this research we know that our Spartans are able to improve their well-being through three areas: finding meaning and purpose in their lives, developing meaningful relationships, and fully engaging in activities that leverage personal strengths.
families of the fallen
USMC Veteran Shares Story of Renewed Purpose
About 84% of veterans and survivors report a sense of community with TMF involvement, as well as a significant increase in their sense of thriving as their involvement increases. Like Marine Veteran Ben Alexander of Mesa, Ariz., veterans nationwide credit our programs and our community with helping them develop meaningful relationships, engage in activities that matter like youth development, and use their stories to develop and impact others. A 2021 report by IVMF found that as a result of the connection our veterans feel once they participate in TMF programs, their mental and physical health improves, and ultimately they experience greater well-being.
Gold Star Sister Speaks on Grief and Healing
Like our veterans, 96% of our families of the fallen report that once they become involved with TMF their ability to handle challenges and difficulties improves. Fostering greater resilience and increased thriving comes from helping our survivor community train to become mentors to youth, and providing opportunities to help them lead and participate in service projects that unite communities in honor of their loved ones. Monica Velez, who lost both of her brothers in service in Iraq, credits TMF for helping her “feel whole again.” “This person that I had lost, that I didn't connect with anymore, I found her when I stood up and gave my first CDM presentation,” Monica said. “As I looked up and stared at all those faces, I found being a sister again.”
I didn't know the impact that my story would have on others, just by talking about perseverance and everything, because I hadn’t tapped into that yet. But [The TMF community] kept telling me, 'more people need to hear about your story. Share your story and talk to your students about how you were able to overcome"….That it gave me a different viewpoint. My life didn’t end in the military, it's just a new beginning to something else.
After he died, it was all about survival and grieving. Then, when TMF came to my life, it was more about really entering into life again and being challenged. And being physically challenged and mentally challenged has really, really helped me grow immensely.
Although the ways in which Veteran Mentors reach youth has continued to expand and grow, our goals for the Character Does Matter program have remained the same. Through mentoring, presentations and outreach opportunities led by Veteran and Survivor Mentors, TMF strives to develop character in future generations by positively impacting their behaviors and attitudes in areas like self-reflection, confidence, goal-setting, leadership and service. Our mentors also create long-term change in individuals, inspiring them to become agents of change who go on to positively influence their school cultures and local communities, far beyond their contact with TMF. A report by IVMF found that during the 2020 school year, 84% of students reported participation in at least one leadership activity since beginning CDM. After completing the program, 86.9% of students stated they were far more likely to interfere when they saw someone being bullied, threatened or harassed, and over half went on to engage in service to their communities after completing the program.
In the program, I had the ability to interact with others more than usual and gain enough courage to engage in activities or other teamwork-involving projects. I was able to de-stress and find motivation after listening to the inspiring stories of the Mentors.
A lot of what I learned from Travis Manion [Foundation] was how to be an effective communicator and manager of projects. So I would communicate with other project leaders [on a service project] but also, learn how to manage the project as a whole. I learned that, as I progressed, it was hard. I had to tap into the idea of teamwork ... learning how to work more cohesively, understanding everybody else, and making sure things are coordinated and streamlined.
2 _ After completing the Character Does Matter program, young adults become agents of change.
When the global pandemic hit, we knew a lot of TMF initiatives would look different. Many in-person events were paused and many of our youth were home rather than in classrooms where Veteran Mentors had previously met them. Before going back to the drawing board, however, we knew the mental health and well-being of our veterans and families of the fallen had to be top priority. Once their needs were met and solutions were found, our community could lean on the grit and resilience of our members.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that came with it brought a mental health crisis that plagued many with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. TMF mobilized our chapters and team members to conduct a system of mental health buddy checks, personally calling 3,500 Spartans nationwide to ensure they were not alone. The launch of our new Spartan Development Center sponsored by J&J, the official healthcare partner of TMF, also brought mental health and wellness resources online so our members could access what they needed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - for free.
With feelings of isolation and disconnectedness especially prevalent among veterans and families of the fallen, TMF sought to bring people together and highlight the mental health resources we and other like-minded organizations have available. We hosted four mental health and well-being seminars and 22 virtual socials to bring our Spartans together throughout the pandemic. Creating a virtual presence for large-scale community events like our 9/11 Heroes Run also helped to ensure people had the opportunity to come together safely, serve and honor our fallen heroes.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, when youth of all ages suddenly found themselves at home instead of in classrooms, TMF met them where they were. Every day for weeks, our Veteran and Survivor Mentors conducted Facebook Live character and leadership lessons, and after that, when virtual education became a more permanent fixture, our presentations pivoted to classroom settings. In total, our Mentors impacted 56,595 students with character and leadership education in 2020-2021.
In the earliest days of the pandemic, TMF provided for the immediate needs of our most vulnerable members by addressing food security, essential supply shortages, transportation, and child/elderly care. We coordinated blood donations and organized food drives for veterans impacted by food insecurities, collected and distributed masks and protective gear, and conducted neighborhood clean-ups that united people when they needed it most. In addition to over 200,000 pounds of food distributed in cities like Houston and Chicago, our members donated 3,300 service hours in 2020 alone.
At least 90% of contributions to TMF go directly back to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of veterans and family members of the fallen, according to numerous independent audits. For the third consecutive year, Charity Navigator has also awarded TMF a four-star rating for our financial health and commitment to accountability, putting us in the company of only 26% of nonprofits who receive the coveted rating three years in a row.
- 34.60%In-Kind Contributions
- 3.30%Program Service
- 4.20%General & Administrative
Community engagement for veterans and families of the fallen
Character Development and Veteran Youth Mentorship
Personal development and training for veterans and families of the fallen
End of Year Net Assets
TMF has worked to share the impact our veterans and families of the fallen are making in their local communities. In 2020-2021, coverage of their efforts reached over 1.1 million people and generated a total media value of over $1.56 million. Here’s a look at a few of the top stories from the year.
10 million unique views nationwide
TITANIUM: $50,000 - $99,999 BRONZE: $1,000 - $2,499 Joy M Welsh David and Gail Sheffield Aaron Gray Justin Simmons Janice Garlock Alex Plumer and Frank Verducci Karen Melikian PLATINUM: $20,000 - $49,999 Amanda Starkey Kenny Bauer Julia Dawson Amy Jacobs Kevin Maguire EMERALD: $10,000 - $19,999 Amy Russo Kevin Mincio Alex & Patricia Gorsky Andrew Delo Kristin Winterson Daniel and Gayle D'Aniello Ann Bauer Hunter Lars Herman David and Kyrsten Bourdon Anthony Trainor Laura Hardy Frank Carroll August and Maria Fix Leslie Stephenson Jenny Galiani Barbara and Megan Cooper Liam Baker John and Jessie DiNome Ben Kao Lori Campbell and James Lynch Kevin Aschman Bradley and Elizabeth Quin Lori Driscoll Matthew Tormenti Brian Quinn M P Quinn Rachael and Richard Wells Brian Reynolds Mark Poston Scott Belveal Bruce Horowitz Mary Hirsch Sean Daly Camille Richards Matthew Chisholm Steve and Karen Brady Carole O'Hare Matthew Russell Suzanne and Richard Keiser Charlene Miseli Megan D'Arcangelo Tim and Heather Richmond Charles and Katharine Tweedy Michael Barikian Vishal Amin Chris Perry Michael Durso William G Little Chrissy O'Donnell Michael Gebhardt GOLD: $5,000 - $9,999 Christina Palmer Michael Lemon Col. Tom Manion Christopher O Murray Michael Mayes Croft Young dan bunts Michael McDonald Cynthia Rushton Daniel Bailey Michael Morand Jeffrey W Mueller Daniel Fields Michael Uhrich Joseph & Barbara Kesselring Daniel John Marklin Mike Malandra Joseph Griesser Danielle Antalffy Neal Sheridan kevin flynn jr Darren Hannum Nick Trainer Kim Pagotto Dave and Lisa Persons Pamela and Alan Szabo Mary Katharine Fountain Dawn Wasson Patricia Chapman Ron & Joy Feigles DAWN WESTHOUSE Patrick Virtue Sandra J. Hassett Denise and Gerard McGinn Paul Jones Terrence Fenningham Dennis McCaffrey Peter and Cynthia Ziebelman Timothy Broadbent Dennis Nealon Philip Krim Timothy McDonald Derick Madden Preston and Andrea Bates SILVER: $2,500 - $4,999 Dirk and Virginia Mosis Quinn and Donna Asplundh Albert Hornung Edward and Ruth Bednarzyk Robert and Cindy Madden Alex Wish Elizabeth Erhardt Robert and Kate Papak Bradley Fessler Emily Gelman Robert and Meggan Williams Carlo Pecori Eugene Gordon Robert Harter Cord Wright Francis Ferguson Ryan Metz Daniel Wagner Frederick and Cynthia Pennekamp Sabrina McMains Eileen McDonnell GEN Ronald Bailey Sakurako and William Fisher Emery Holden General Dan Allyn Scott And Janet Millimet Gary and Helene Mathern Gerard Fasano Sean Manion Gay L. Jordan Gerard Market Shannon Rasberry Gerald Grater Greg and Megan Davis Shawn Livingston Jennifer Davis Greg Call Stephen and Judith Hoffman Jim Collins Greg Syvertson Susan Hanover Joan Adams Gregory Gonzales Susie and Gary Mattson Katie Burke Howard Meyers Theresa, Anthony, and Hunter Jones Keith Palmer Jaime Mertz Thivakorn Kasemsri Kevin and Diane Hoffmann James McCusker Thomas and Danielle Mathis Michael Alexander Jeffery Zimmerman Thomas Isola Michael and Linda Clement Jennifer Victoria Mayer Tim and Jill Coogan Neil Nehmens Jo Decker Tim Beaudin Nicholas Bartle John and Dianne Stahl Timothy Knowles Paul Sheaffer John and Gayle Mosko Todd Morehouse Robert K Alden John and Mary Sasso Tracey Zarcone Sherry Ford John and Paula Schumaker Wayne and Alison Beal Tim & RJ Peppe John Hogan William & Sue Martindale John Mcgurty William and Paula Hurley Jon Ham William Rookstool Joseph F Dunford Jr William Shine Joseph Wolk
Corporations & Foundations
IF NOT ME, THEN WHO…: $1M+ GOLD: $5,000 - $9,999 BRONZE: $1,000 - $2,499 Johnson & Johnson ABM Industries, Inc. 361 Capital LLC Under Armour Inc. B3 Group, Inc 3RVA, LLC CHARACTER CHAMPION: $250K - $999,999 Bear Chase Brewing Company, LLC American Legion Auxiliary Unit 950 Morel Family Foundation Beyer Automotive Group American Legion Post 911 Schultz Family Foundation ClearRPO AMS of Maryland Wounded Warrior Project Constellation Brands, Inc. Anderson Fire Protection, Inc. DIAMOND: $100,000 - $249,999 County Builders, Inc. Armstrong Family Charitable Fund The McCausland Foundation CPG Beyond, Inc. Baum Precision Machining, Inc. The Prudential Insurance Company CSX Transportation Berkelhammer Basic Science Fund TITANIUM: $50,000 - $99,999 Data Center Solutions Binswanger Management Corp Bank of America Corp Deloitte, LLC Brightspot Becton Dickinson & Co Excellis Health Solutions LLC Bruce C. Hargus Family Foundation Boeing Company Fidelity C & L Billington Family Foundation Challenger Foundation Global Golf Events CBPC Charitable Foundation Comcast NBC Universal Google Inc. Charities Aid Foundation of America Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company Haylen Group College of the Ozarks The Milbank Foundation Houston Police Officer's Union Conrad O'Brien Law Firm The Sheriff Foundation Janssen Biotech, Inc. Cozen O'Connor Foundation Inc. The USAA Foundation Jewish Communal Fund Crews Surveying, LLC PLATINUM: $20,000 - $49,999 L3Harris CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC Amazon Lowers Risk Group DBS Bank, LTD BLBB Charitable Management Data Systems International, Inc. EarthRes Group, Inc. Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Mulhern & Kulp Structural Engineering, Inc. Exelon Corporation Carry The Load Nike First United Bank & Trust Company Costco Wholesale PENFED Credit Union Fred Beans Charitable Fund Fifth Generation Inc. Poretta & Orr, Inc. Frerichs Family Fund Goldman, Sachs & Co PowerComm Construction, Inc. George Shea, LLC Greater Round Rock Community Foundation Rabaut Family Foundation Glenview Capital Management, LLC Jefferies LLC Rags of Honor Grace Roberti Foundation Lightening The Load SDC Capital Partners, LLC Great Valley Advisor Group, Inc. Mean Well USA, Inc. Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. Greco Promotions Movers Specialty Service, Inc. St Luke's University Health Network Hall Ryan Construction RTI International T. Nash and Gloria M. Broaddus Foundation Hanahan Fireworks Depot TE Connectivity The Becket Family Foundation Herbert D Dunlavy VFW Post 581 The Daniel B and Florence E Green Foundation The Charles Foundation Hill 260 Fund Truist - Charlotte The Fann Family Foundation Holmes Cunningham Engineering Truist - VA The Taylor Family Foundation i3 Cares University of Pennsylvania Health System The University of Michigan Student Veterans Association IBM USS Midway Museum The William and Susan Federici Charitable Fund Insperity VetsAid Thresholds J. G. Foundation Charity Fund Virginians for Veterans ThunderCat Technology, LLC Jack and Mari-An Fitzmaurice Family Fund EMERALD: $10,000 - $19,999 Tower Cares Foundation KAMPUS KLOTHES AbbVie Inc. U. S. Accenture Konecny Family Fund Apache Corporation Volvo Cars Annapolis Krempa Associates Inc. Apple Inc. SILVER: $2,500 - $4,999 Linden Elementary Barclays Bank Accurate Acoustical, Inc. Marshall Ford Lincoln Barney Family Foundation Bancroft Capital Marvic Supply Company, Inc. Bob Woodruff Foundation Branch Banking and Trust Maverick Chevrolet Bonnie L Bolding Charitable Foundation City of Madisonville Michael and Donna Rose Charitable Fund BP Environmental Services, Inc. Cooper Mechanical, Inc. Miles Road Baptist Church Brown Advisory Cost of Freedom Nasdaq Crown Auto Logistics Inc. Customers Bank Penn Color Inc. Howell Family Foundation Doli Construction Corporation Penn Wealth Planning LLC Hoxie Harrison Smith Foundation Emergent BioSolutions Powell Roofing Intercoastal Mortgage, LLC Evergreen Waste Services, LLC QualTek Leidos First Immanuel Lutheran Church Quatrefoil Consulting, LLC Luzzi Family Charitable Fund Firstrust Bank Realty ONE Group Legacy Neal C Nichols Foundation, Inc Foundations Community Partnership Rieck Family Charitable Fund Oracle Corporation Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Rockwood Wealth Management PNC Foundation Joseph and Catherine Bondi Family Foundation Roper St. Francis Healthcare Polen Capital Managment LLC KPMG, LLP Shell Oil Company Rumsfeld Foundation M&M LP Management Sodexo Sierra Nevada Corporation Madison Hospitality Services, LLC St. Joseph's Catholic School Steven A and Gloria E Ellers Fund Marathon Petroleum Stephen J Beers Revocable Trust Strategic Underwriters Intl. Old Dominion National Bank STS Foundation TechnoGuard, Inc Pecori Family Fund Tague Lumber The Brennan Family Foundation Qualcomm Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. The Carlyle Group Steele Family Foundation The Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Integrity The Provident Bank The Exchange Club of Charleston The Stand by Steve Memorial Foundation The John Lehman Fund Tippins Foundation The Malmark, Inc. Charitable Fund The Marshall Family Charitable Fund The Ryan Family Foundation THRYV, Inc. United Energy Trading, LLC United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania VFW 7464 W B Homes, Inc Walmart - AZ WhartonHill Investment Advisors WWS Physical Therapy, Inc. Zurich North America IN-KIND: $25K+ American Airlines VIZI
Independent Fundraising Events
DIAMOND: $100,000 - $249,999 Flags of Valor Golf Tournament PLATINUM: $20,000 - $49,999 SILVER: $2,500 - $4,999 BRONZE: $1,000 - $2,499 6th Annual Walk in the Honor Serve-A-Palooza Charity Volleyball Tourney Preston Kennedy- David Goggins 4x4x48 challenge GOLD: $5,000 - $9,999 2020 Jim Thorpe Adventures Remembrance Ride Megan Cooper Mask Fundraiser Anna & Michale Adelstein #JANESTRONG Bike Ride Guadalupe Hernandez Run For Veterans Avalon Group Workout Sugg Brother Ski campaign Brian Harrington's Day of Pain V 2.0 TE Connectivity Memorial Day Virtual 5k MDSI Golf Tournament Anthony Stipa, Baseball Tryouts Matt Pekarek 2021 Crossfit Open Jr. ROTC Drill Meet at Sterling High School