As a nonprofit organization dependent on the support of volunteers and donors, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) offers a variety of ways for people to get involved in advancing its work assisting military veterans and their families. It maintains corporate and community partnerships and oversees fundraising initiatives such as workplace giving programs.
In addition, the organization works with community members nationwide to host various events in cities throughout the country. One of WWP’s newest and most unique events is its Carry Forward 5K. Here’s a complete look at this fundraiser and awareness fitness challenge:
What is the Carry Forward 5K?
WWP’s Carry Forward 5K is an event that gives participants the opportunity to test their strength and stamina while raising money and awareness for the country’s military community. First launched in May 2018, this 5K challenge features three levels of participation for racers of all ability levels.
At the base level, individual participants and squads can show their patriotism and support for active-duty military members and veterans by carrying a flag throughout the 5K route. Those looking to increase the challenge can choose to carry a 1- to 100-pound weight as they run or walk to the finish line. Finally, participants seeking the ultimate challenge can carry another person from start to finish.
Where is it held?
Currently, WWP Carry Forward events are held in four US cities: San Diego, California; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida. The most recent Carry Forward 5K took place Saturday, August 24, 2019, in San Diego. Several celebrities participated in the event, including The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood and LA Chargers quarterback Cardale Jones. Along with the 5K, the Carry Forward activities included a morning concert featuring The Band Steele.
The 2019 Carry Forward series continues with 5Ks in Nashville on September 21, San Antonio on October 5, and Jacksonville on November 9. Fundraising seeks to generate between $100,000 and $200,000 for WWP’s various programs and services.
How can people get involved?
Those interested in taking part in a Carry Forward event have several options for getting involved. WWP supporters planning to walk, jog, or run the 5K can register as individual participants or members of a squad. Registering online for a Carry Forward event is a straightforward process that involves entering your name, choosing your event city, and selecting an activity level.
The standard adult registration fee is $35. With a promo code, active military members and veterans can receive $5 off, and youth participants ages 6 to 17 can receive $15 off. There is no registration fee for WWP Alumni participants. Individuals who don’t register online can still sign up the day of the event for $40.
In addition to paying the required registration fee, each participant is encouraged to lead their own Carry Forward fundraising campaign. WWP provides a variety of fundraising ideas, tools, and resources on its website. Along with receiving the satisfaction that comes from supporting the nation’s military community, fundraisers are rewarded for their efforts with gear and prizes such as Carry Forward shirts and other wearable mementos.
If you can’t make it to a Carry Forward city, you can register to host your own event in your community. These events must take place between July 4 and December 15 to qualify for fundraising incentives. Carry Forward supporters can also make general donations of any amount to the series online via a secure giving page.
What do Carry Forward events support?
As with other WWP fundraising initiatives, the money donated to Carry Forward events supports the organization’s wide range of programs, services, and activities for military veterans as well as their family members and caregivers. These programs focus on areas such as mental and physical wellness, career development, personal independence, and social interaction.
One of WWP’s major initiatives is its Wounded Care Network. It leverages a network of leading medical centers to provide comprehensive treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other related conditions.
Wounded Warrior Project also oversees a resource center to help military veterans and family members sign up for WWP activities, process Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense benefits claims, and apply for emergency financial assistance. Other WWP programs focus on helping veterans connect with one another in their own communities.
Without Carry Forward and its other fundraising activities, WWP would not be able to continue providing these and other life-changing programs. The organization and its supporters raise tens of millions of dollars annually, including over $197 million in fiscal year 2018.
WWP fundraisers and supporters can also rest assured knowing that their time and resources are benefiting a great charity that maintains accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, top-rated status with Charity Navigator, and a GuideStar Platinum rating. More information about supporting Wounded Warrior Project can be found at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
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