BALTIMORE, Feb. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, today announced a new priority area for its grants, supporting servicemen and servicewomen. Beginning on March 1, 2016, the Weinberg Foundation will consider grant requests from programs serving military members and their families in the categories of workforce development, physical/mental health, and barrier elimination.
"At the Weinberg Foundation, we are reminded almost every day of the tradition and quality of military service," said Rachel Garbow Monroe, Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. "In our board room, the photo portrait of former Trustee Nathan Weinberg—of blessed memory—includes one of his dog tags. He specifically requested that be done. For us, it is both a special remembrance of Nathan and a tribute to all who served."
The addition of the Veterans program area represents the first change to the Weinberg Foundation's grants structure since 2005. The Foundation plans to award up to $2 million in grants this fiscal year supporting military members and their families.
Board Chair Ellen M. Heller commented, "The Weinberg Foundation has long supported nonprofits that assist men and women who have served our nation with honor. The Foundation believes the extraordinary service experience of these individuals uniquely prepares them to strengthen their communities. Accordingly, this new program area is the next logical step." Heller added, "Philanthropic organizations are uniquely positioned to convene stakeholders, promote collaboration, increase capacity, and understand local needs. These opportunities can enhance the current level of care for our veterans and encourage strategies that also keep military members and their families from ever reaching a crisis stage."
The Weinberg Foundation will consider support for the following programs assisting military members:
- Providing a smooth transition (for spouses as well) to the workforce. Such services may include translating military skills into credentials or bridging the training gap between military service and civilian life.
- Treating catastrophic injuries or post-traumatic stress. Services may include, but not be limited to, mental health counseling, home rehabilitation, or peer support programs.
- Addressing or removing barriers, including discharge status or legal issues, which may allow the individual or family to access housing, employment, medical care, and benefits never before available.
Kate Sorestad, a Weinberg Foundation program officer who has led the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project since its inception in 2011, will add this new program area to her existing grants management portfolio, which includes school libraries and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
"It is inspiring to see funders like the Weinberg Foundation make a major, sustained, and thoughtful commitment to supporting the nation's veterans, and to make this population a strategic long-term focus in its giving," said Adam Meyerson, President, Philanthropy Roundtable. "As in so many other areas of American life, philanthropy here can make a substantial difference in improving health, happiness, and prosperity for an important group of men and women."
In preparation for the new Veterans program area, the Weinberg Foundation has convened an expert advisory committee including nonprofit leaders, veterans, and government representatives:
- Mary Beth Bruggeman
Executive Director, Southeast Region, Mission Continues
- Amanda Burke
Region III Administrator, Team Rubicon
- Cindy Campbell
Commissioner, American Battle Monuments Commission
Retired Navy Lieutenant Commander
- Guy Filippelli
CEO, RedOwl Analytics
- Eric Hughes
Staff Attorney/Project Manager, Veterans Legal Assistance Project
- Thomas Meyer
Director, Veterans Services, The Philanthropy Roundtable
- Wes Moore
- Thomas Nurmi
President, Nurmi Family Foundation
Chair, William S. Abell Foundation Homelessness Committee
Input from this panel has helped the Weinberg Foundation to better understand current regional needs and further refine the focus and expectations for this new area of giving.
While grants within the Veterans program area may be made nationally, preference will be given to organizations serving military members and their families in Maryland; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington, DC. For more information on Weinberg Foundation grants for veterans, please visit http://hjweinbergfoundation.org/program-areas/veterans.
About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the US and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Alvin Awaya, and Chair Ellen M. Heller. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President and CEO. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.
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SOURCE Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation