BENEFITING: OPERATION HEROES CONNECT
The camp experience has the unique ability to break down economic, racial, geographic, religious, ethnic and social barriers. Camp celebrates diversity and promotes understanding thus promoting the idea that open-hearted children become open-minded adults. Each year the Opetation Heroes Connect hosts a week-long camp free of charge; transportation costs are also covered to local youth who other wise would not have the opportunity to attend a summer camp. Operation Heroes Connect founded by active duty United States Marine Tee Marie Hanible is a 501c youth mentorship organization that partners service members and veterans as mentors by local at risk youth. In 2013 her organization started its now annual and highly acclaimed 30 Days of Giving campaign in which Operation Heroes Connect collects and distributes coats, clothing, and food items for the almost 600 citizens that make up Northern Virginia homeless community living in what is known as "Tent City". During 2012 Tee was also chosen to represent the state of Illinois at a dinner by the White house honoring local military leaders who deployed in support of OIF and OEF. In 2012 Tee was also featured in the Newsweek Magazine “Heroes Edition” for her community work and selfless service both in an out of the uniform. In 2012 Tee helped to spearhead the Marine Corps' first ever Youth Leadership Academy which took place during Marine Week in Cleveland, Ohio and was subsequently honored by the Mayor of Cleveland for her successful execution of the program and impact on the 250 youth that participated. Shortly later, Tee was selected to speak during the 2012 Heroes Summit Panel hosted by the Newsweek Daily Beast. Later in November that same year Tee’s organization was awarded Black Celebrity Giving's (BCG) 2013 Rising Star Award and the “Action in Community Through Service” (ACTS) 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award. This year our youth camps will be hosting 50 children to attend our camp free of charge. This fundraiser will greatly assist in those efforts.