BALTIMORE — Isolation is difficult for our veteran community.
On Tuesday, WMAR-2 News’ Eddie Kadhim spoke with the Travis Manion Foundation who spent this Giving Tuesday virtually raising thousands of dollars to help veterans reach out and give back.
Ryan Manion is the the President of the Travis Manion Foundation.
"We wanted to make sure that we were playing a part in supporting our returning veterans,” Manion said.
Her brother, and the organizations namesake, is a United States Marine who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq.
“We know that we wanted to continue his legacy of service, but we also wanted to make sure that we were giving those opportunities to other families of the fallen to continue their loved ones legacy of service,” Manion said.
They raise funds and resources to help veterans and gold star families who want to continue to serve.
Giving Tuesday is normally the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but because of COVID-19, they took part in a special world wide campaign with a goal of reaching $10,000 by midnight.
“Donations are going down to non profits,” she said. “Giving Tuesday decided to do a day of giving on May 5th. Just making sure we as an organization have shifted a lot of our efforts to make sure we’re providing a lot of relief during this pandemic.”
Since the outbreak started, they’ve shifted their efforts to food and blood drives and providing online resources for mental health.
“May is mental health month and we want to make sure that while we’re isolated that we’re not alone. We’ve set up online training for mental health tool kits for our veterans so we can make sure we’re bringing them the resources they need.”
One of the biggest successes in Baltimore has been the Character Does Matter Program that connects veterans to young people.
“What I can do as a veteran is I can go into a classroom and look at kids just like me,” said Michael Desmond, United States Marine Veteran who is the Manager of the Mid-Atlantic Division. “Even if they don’t want to serve in a uniform I can say you’re a leader too, and you’re capable too. Anyone thinks you otherwise is fooling you. We’ve done that with a ton of kids throughout the Baltimore area.”
They’ve been working with local schools to transition that program online. Keeping a legacy of service going.
“We are here we’re not going anywhere and we want to make sure we are providing the support and resources we can to our veterans, our gold star families. Making sure that they know we will be here for them.”
Providing the tools vets and gold star families need, to do what they do best. Giving all they have when the community needs them.
The goal was to raise $10,000 dollars on Tuesday, to help click here.