ROVER's ability to provide programming depends on two things: interest from participants and, let's face it, money! ROVER is a 501c3 nonprofit for veterans by veterans with outreach to several areas of the country. Grants are few and far between and as we have no steady source of income, donations are the main way we get the money to continue our mission.
Please help us get more veterans engaged in activities or into a new career field! Nearly all funds raised go back into programming (last year it was close to 92%). No one working with ROVER is paid and, as a matter of fact, frequently come out of pocket for various needs of the organization. We all donate not just our time but with our check books as well. Won't you help us do more? We are only asking for each individual to donate $1.00. As the title says, give a little to provide a lot! Everyone can afford to give $1.00.
I know there are many nonprofits who provide services to veterans but we try to reach out to areas where certain resources are lacking. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for both veterans AND their family members through adaptive sports, job training opportunities, and social/wellness events. With the number of veteran suicides, we feel our mission is of utmost importance. There are many studies that have been done showing the life changing results of even short term participation in one of our areas of focus. Job opportunities sometimes are difficult either because the veteran, although they may have done the exact same job for the military, does not have the certifications/degrees required for the occupation or their injuries prevent them from being able to perform certain tasks. This can be very disheartening for many. We are trying to fill these gaps so that neither the veteran nor their families get to the point where they believe all hope is lost.
The people I'm talking about are your friends and neighbors, they live in your town and struggle daily with these challenges most times in complete silence. You never hear about them until it's too late. Let me give you a specific example of why we need your help. We participate in the Veterans Immersion Program at the GA Aquarium. They give us four dates a year and it is an awesome therapeutic recreation event for everyone who participates. We get to bring up to 8 veterans to get in the tank with the whale sharks (among other animals). Their families are also invited and get to spend the day at the aquarium and are given a guided tour all free to the participants. The only thing not free is the transportation to the aquarium. We were contacted this year by a veteran who said he really would like to participate but he lives in NC and didn't have the funds to get to Atlanta. Because of our lack of funding, we could not offer to help him get there either, which was not only disappointing for him but for us as well.
We have also been limited on other program offerings because we simply don't have the funding. In 2017, ROVER has had difficulty raising money and therefore, has been able to provide very little programming. We would love to provide more opportunities that get veterans off the couch and out of the house so that they do not feel socially isolated and can develop a sense of purpose again.
For more information on ROVER go to http://rover.vet.