JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With some calling it this summer's ice bucket challenge, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation (Fallen Patriots) has flooded social media with #DropAndGiveMe10, a push-up challenge to raise money and support for scholarships for children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.
Some of the strongest support has come from the leading ladies of the National Football League. With participation from the cheerleaders of the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans, these women have shown their spirit by giving 10 push-ups in support of gold star families.
"With 97% of casualties in the line of duty being men, those left behind to start their lives over are often the wives and mothers of these families," shared Cynthia Kim, Fallen Patriots co-founder. "It's wonderful to see women in the public eye supporting an issue that disproportionately impacts other women."
The #DropAndGiveMe10 campaign has resulted in over a million impressions across social media.
"We love cheering on the sidelines on Sundays," said Stacie Kinder, director of the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders, who most recently took the challenge.
"But it's just as meaningful to support the women and families who have lost their husband or father on the battlefield. Being so close to Fort Campbell, the Titans share a close relationship with our Armed Service men and women, and caring for those families whose soldier didn't come home from battle is an even more special initiative," she added.
Independent research by The Lucas Group has found that 59% of the surviving spouses of these families make less than $50,000 annually, resulting in not only an emotional burden, but a financial one as well.
"As a widow, life doesn't go on the same way. Life without our family, as a whole, never gets easier. You find a new normal, and you just learn how to handle it in a different way," says Aimee Myers, whose husband, Phillip, was killed in Afghanistan while disarming an improvised explosive device.
Aimee now cares for their two children on her own, and though they are young, the cost burden of a college education is already very real.
"They've lost so much already; it's our turn to honor the sacrifice their parents made," said Fallen Patriots executive director John Coogan.
New Monthly Fundraising Campaign Launched
Fallen Patriots estimates that more than 350 gold star students will begin college for the first time this fall. Inspired by the show of spirit this summer, they've launched the Class of '19 program, inviting everyone to "Show Your Spirit" with a monthly commitment of just $19 to help bridge the gap in the cost of books, tuition and even meal plans for these deserving students.
For more information, visit www.fallenpatriots.org/ways-to-help/donate.
CONTACT: Julie Dion, Phone: 904.612.8976 mobile, JulieDion@Comcast.net, www.fallenpatriots.org
SOURCE Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation