Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of our student group is to organize fundraising events that engage the entire W&L student body with the goal of raising money and awareness for the WWP. The WWP mission is "To honor and empower Wounded Warriors." They provide several services that help veterans adjust to civilian life following active duty and cope with physical or non-physical injuries.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) was started in 2003 in Roanoke Virginia. It began as a group of veterans and friends who wanted to help those returning home from active duty in the Middle East. It now has a network of almost 77,000 veterans which it serves.
For a spring term class, two of the primary contacts made a documentary about veterans in Rockbridge County. (Linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_rc3iw6sV4). Much of the inspiration to start a WWP group at W&L came from meeting veterans within the community throughout the filmmaking process.
The mission of our student group is to organize fundraising events that engage the entire W&L student body with the goal of raising money and awareness for the WWP. The WWP mission is "To honor and empower Wounded Warriors." They provide several services that help veterans adjust to civilian life following active duty and cope with physical or non-physical injuries. To be eligible, veterans must have served after September 11, 2001 and incurred a "physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service." Since 2001, WWP estimates that 52,369 US service men and women have been injured while in combat, 320,000 have suffered traumatic brain injuries and 400,000 suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
We have already applied and received recognition as "Student Ambassadors" from the WWP organization (see attached). For our first year as a registered organization, we plan to hold a band competition in Fall Term, and a running and obstacle course challenge in Spring Term. Both events will be advertised and open to the entire W&L community, with opportunities to raise money from individual and group donations and through ticket/t-shirt sales. All proceeds raised will be donated directly to WWP.
The goal of this club is to raise money and awareness for the WWP, not necessarily to have a large amount of student members. We believe that operating with a core group of dedicated members (7-10 people) will be the most effective way to engage the entire student body, through well-planned and well-marketed fundraisers. Our group currently consists of three cofounders and a treasurer who meet regularly to discuss what needs to be done and divvy up responsibilities accordingly. Members will be added via consensus of the current cofounders and treasurer when necessary.
For the organization's second year of existence (2016-2017) and henceforward, we have established two roles, President and Treasurer, as designated Officers. These offices were chosen by the founding members (2015-2016) to lead the organization and direct its efforts going forward.
In the future, candidates for officers will be nominated by the leadership (President and Treasurer) and a popular vote among the group's members will determine the following year's Officers. The in-office President and Treasurer aim to nominate individuals who show a genuine interest and dedication to the organization. Popular vote among the general members will ultimately decide the Officers.
v.) Benefit to W&L and Surrounding Community
A disproportionately large amount of veterans live in the Lexington area. In Rockbridge County, about 10 percent of individuals receive VA benefits; the national per-county average is about half of one percent. In total about 2,500 veterans live in Rockbridge County. A Washington and Lee WWP organization could help build relationships with the veteran population in the surrounding communities. This organization could serve as a way to connect with the VMI community as well. We plan on holding events jointly with VMI in the future.