We want to thank Southwest Airlines for its support of UCLA Health and Operation Mend through its Medical Transportation Grant Program. Southwest Airlines provided complimentary, roundtrip tickets to many of our patients and their caregivers over the last year and will continue to do so throughout 2016.
A very special thanks goes to the UCLA Athletics program for their continued support. At the April 25th Spring Football Showcase – the conclusion of the spring practice season – Coach Jim Mora and the UCLA Football team hosted wounded veteran Army Specialist Joseph (Joey) Paulk on the field along with Ron Katz, his son, Todd, and grandson, Sean. Following the practice, Mora introduced Paulk to the team and invited him to say a few words before ultimately having him break the huddle. Along with the special honor on the field, 100% of ticket sales, and all beverage sales from the San Pedro Brewing company, were donated to Operation Mend.
We are proud to announce that we have received a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to support the expansion of the Buddy Family Program staff. BWF works to ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving long after they return home. The team at BWF navigates the maze of over 46,000 nonprofit organizations to find and fund innovative programs in communities where veterans, their families and caregivers live and work.
Receiving a grant from BWF is an honor that recognizes the dedication, focus and effectiveness of our staff, volunteers and supporters. As a grant recipient, our organization joins the Bob Woodruff Foundation grantee network, a collaboration of top-tier programs and advocates working to help our heroes on the homefront.
During their annual “Laboratory Professionals Week” challenge this spring, the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Core Lab Staff chose Operation Mend as the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts. The team, promoting their message that “Not all heroes wear capes,” collectively raised money for our program. A big thanks goes to their staff for supporting the program through their profession as well as their generous gifts.
On May 8, Brownie Troop 1225 visited UCLA Tiverton House to deliver handmade greetings cards written in their own words, which will be included in welcome baskets given to UCLA Operation Mend patients upon their arrival at Tiverton House. The 12 girls from the St. Paul the Apostle school in Los Angeles gave the cards to U.S. Marine Corporal (Ret.) Angelica Jimenez and expressed their gratitude for the patients’ military service.
On May 28, the Operation Mend team visited Barbara DeNisi’s kindergarten class at The Berkeley School for a presentation by the children. In addition to gifting Operation Mend with a handmade Quilt of Valor, the children performed the songs of the four branches of the military and “Proud to Be an American.” This is the fourth year the class has donated a quilt, which will hang in the Operation Mend offices for all patients and families to view and enjoy.
Special thanks to the wonderful women of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary 12118. They sent 11 of these CUTE teddy bears made from old military uniforms for our Operation Mend patients.
Rachel and Bob Clifford hit a home run when they brought their friends together at Bel Air Bay Club to learn more about Operation Mend. It was an evening filled with awesome wines from Red Stitch & Mi Sueño, great friends and a ton of fun. "Cheers!" to Bob and Rachel!! (Operation Patient Joey Paulk is pictured here with his girlfriend, Sarah Gibson, and Red Stitch founders and former Major League Baseball players Dave Roberts and Rich Aurilia.)
Special thanks to the wonderful students at Warner Avenue Elementary School. They raised $3,000 for Operation Mend by selling these cute Valentines-grams.
The awesome Operation Mend Undergraduate Association (OMUA) made these cool bracelets for our Operation Mend patients. They symbolize an unbreakable commitment to resilience and courage. Thanks OMUA!
A big thank you to Nicole Miller, who reached out to her Simi Valley Community to collect Trader Joe's, Target and In-N-Out Burger gift cards for Operation Mend patients and their families. She also collected books for the Tiverton House library and raised additional dollars to help! (In the picture: Nicole Miller with her husband, Todd, daughters, Megan and Brooke, parents, Sharon and Al Willems, Operation Mend patient, Brian Schiefer, and Brian's friend, Neil Habershaw, and Dana Katz)
Huge Thanks to Thea and Phil Scotti and the entire crew at PJ Clarke's for always welcoming our Operation Mend crew to New York with the best party ever. Each year when we celebrate Veteran's Day with these special people, we are overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit (and spirits!) that surrounds our Wounded Warriors.