WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, The Call of Duty Endowment™ is proud to join over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations to announce pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years to support veterans and military family. As previously announced, the Endowment has pledged more than $4 million in grants for 2014.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge was announced today by Joining Forces and a coalition of leading foundations at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge - initiated by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation - creates a community of funders and builds momentum for programs that will support service members, veterans and their families, in local communities as the country draws down from twelve years of war.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge commitments come at a vital time as the country adjusts to a post-war period. Our service members, veterans, and their families are true assets to our country, communities, and economy. Our country benefits from their dedication, skills, and experience. The philanthropic and nonprofit communities believe that supporting service members' successful transition back to civilian life sustains their good work and shows our appreciation for their sacrifices.
The Call of Duty Endowment believes that this partnership, coupled with its individual contribution, will aid its mission to help young veterans attain high quality careers. Numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in March showed that the unemployment rate for the youngest veterans (aged 18-24) increased in 2013, standing nearly seven percent higher than for their nonveteran counterparts (21.4 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively). The Call of Duty Endowment grants will fund the most effective and efficient nonprofits dedicated to veteran hiring with a track record of decreasing unemployment among young veterans.
Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment, said, "Despite data proving that veterans have unique skill sets and offer potential employers an economic advantage in terms of productivity and retention, statistics continue to show our youngest veterans continue to face a much higher unemployment rate than their non-veteran peers. This is a trend that can be broken by smartly addressing both the supply and demand sides of the problem and we are thrilled to enter in this partnership with the White House's Joining Forces Initiative. We are proud to be a part of such a valuable initiative that will only help further the Endowment's goals and the quality of life for veterans.
Today's event featured remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, General George Casey (ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Army, US Teen Poet Laureate and military child Michaela Coplen, and representatives from the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, Blue Shield of California Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Points of Light, Bank of America, and Blue Star Families.
The pledges are the result of the leadership of the pledge initiators (Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation) the Council on Foundations Veteran's Advisory Groupmembers, and participants from the annual White Oak Conference hosted by Blue Star Families, which brings together the public and private sector to foster and create partnerships to address the ever-changing challenges of military family life.
Nonprofits participating in today's event were members of the White Oak Steering Committee, including leaders from American Red Cross, Armed Forces Services Corporation, Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Military Child Education Coalition, Military Officers Association of America, Points of Light Institute, and the USO.
About the Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,500 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About the Call of Duty™ Endowment:
The Call of Duty™ Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation conceived by Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision. The Endowment helps veterans find high quality careers by supporting groups that prepare them for the job market and by raising awareness of the value vets bring to the workplace. For more information about the Call of Duty Endowment, please visit www.callofdutyendowment.org.
ACTIVISION and CALL OF DUTY are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.
SOURCE Call of Duty Endowment