ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 60 veterans with Orlando's Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Peer Support Group and The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Service Platoon teamed up with other local nonprofit organizations to help Central Florida boys and girls from Eckerd Kids Project Bridge feel more at home after moving to a new location that had been previously vacant for years.
Project Bridge is a youth transitional service offered through Eckerd Kids – one of the nation's largest nonprofit child and family service organizations. It collaborates with Home Builders Institute (HBI) and other groups to provide educational, vocational, mentoring, and transportation services to help Central Florida boys and girls, ages 11 to 21, achieve stable and successful lives and avoid returning to the criminal justice system.
During the service project, warriors spent the day painting the exterior of the building, landscaping, and even updating an old basketball court with freshly painted court lines. Warriors used their personal skill sets to help where they could – one injured veteran spent time working on the facility's plumbing. The gathering served as an opportunity for wounded warriors to connect with their community while feeling empowered through helping others.
After suffering hardship, the stability of one's life relies heavily on successful reintegration into the community. It's an important cause to many warriors as they have also endured unique adversities on their journeys to recovery. These veterans understand the importance of dedicating their time and labor to ensure Orlando children are set up for success.
The Orlando WWP Peer Support Group and The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Service Platoon are not strangers; this is one of many service projects the groups have collaborated on to give back to the community they call home.
"These types of events bond us to each other," said Dan Kalagain, a U.S. Army veteran who is also a WWP Peer Support mentor and leader for The Mission Continues Orlando 1st Platoon. "In the Peer Support Group, I have really seen changes in my brothers and sisters when they are supporting one another. When we join efforts with other service organizations like The Mission Continues, we are able to help others in need – not just veterans, but entire communities. And when veterans realize their service is not over – that there is still more of them to give – I've seen anger turn into happiness and rekindled hope."
Peer support plays an important role in the recovery process as injured veterans rely upon each other's learned experiences when managing day-to-day challenges. This special type of therapy reintroduces injured veterans to the unique bonds experienced during military service. Rarely duplicated in the civilian world, these relationships act as a secure bedrock that paves the road to recovery.
WWP offers a variety of programs and services that assist injured veterans with mental health, physical health and wellness, career and benefits counseling, and connecting with other warriors and their communities. Generous donors make it possible for wounded warriors to take part in connection activities and benefit from program resources at no cost to them.
To learn more about how WWP's programs and services are making an impact on the lives of wounded warriors, visit http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/. To find photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
About Wounded Warrior Project
We Connect, Serve, and Empower
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP connects wounded warriors and their families to valuable resources and one another, serves them through a variety of free programs and services, and empowers them to live life on their own terms. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Their operations in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside non-profit partners and community leaders to solve some of the most challenging issues facing our communities: improving community education resources, eliminating food deserts, mentoring at-risk youth, and more. Through this unique model, veterans build new skills and networks that help them successfully reintegrate to life after the military while making long-term, sustainable transformations in communities and inspiring future generations to serve.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project