About Giving Back
Giving Back (registered entity name/tax ID name), also known as “Giving Back USA” on social media and our website, is a veteran/first responder-founded 501(c)(3) Nonprofit started in 2018 as a Limited Liability Corporation/ “not for profit” entity, and converted to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2020 in order to more effectively focus on the vast and unique mental health challenges faced by our heroes in uniform, both those actively serving, and veterans, along with their immediate families.
We provide crisis intervention/suicide prevention, peer support, logistical, liaison, and Veteran/First Responder advocacy services linking Veterans and First Responders with mental health resources and professional providers, as well as family oriented outdoor activities and events geared towards healing the invisible wounds of war and trauma on our 850+ acre private property near Martinsville, VA. We are also able to assist with out- of-pocket costs for professional mental health services, co-pays, travel costs, and other expenses as may be necessary, as many of the services we assist with, or offer to our clientele can be cost-prohibitive if not covered by an individual or family insurance plan.
We are a 100% volunteer organization, and no one on the Giving Back staff or Board of Directors receives financial compensation for their participation, work, or services provided. Our staff consists of seasoned first responders, combat veterans, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Our Board of Directors is also 100% all volunteer, and comprised of combat veterans, former first responders, and a board-certified psychiatrist who advises us on how to effectively implement programs, supportive therapeutic activities, & ensure we are providing services in line with current best practices for our heroes in uniform and their families. Every penny we raise through donations and fundraisers goes directly to supporting our programs. Every “big ticket” item (any item with a cost exceeding $1,000, such as tractor equipment, our pavilion, storage container, etc.) in use by Giving Back, has been purchased personally by Board and/or Staff members, and their use donated to our organization, allowing us to use all financial donations and funds raised to go solely to supporting our programs and services.
Our operating costs are modest, at approximately $18,000-$20,000 USD per year, and we are very adept at finding $20 Dollar solutions to Million Dollar problems. Fund-raising in and of itself can be very challenging, and during the COVID crisis, we could not (would not) solicit donations from people or businesses who were unsure if they would even have a job or business to return to. This led to a degree of financial strain on the organization, however, the Giving Back Corporate Officers used their own funds to keep Giving Back able to provide the services and activities we provide, as well as support a handful of First Responders in need of financial or food assistance due to employment issues arising from the COVID pandemic.
In addition to our primary objective of making sure none of our heroes has to battle their mental health demons alone, we pride ourselves in our ability to find unique solutions that cater to our disabled veterans and first responders by providing them with the opportunities to regain a sense of normalcy, engage in outdoor activities they may have given up due to their disabilities, and reconnect with the world around them.
We are currently in the planning stages of a fund-raising initiative to build a Giving Back USA Endowment Fund, with our financial goal of raising $250,000 in the next 12-18 months, which will allow us to cover a significant percentage of our operating expenses year to year from the interest earned by the endowment fund alone, and eliminate the need for constant low dollar fund raising initiatives just to keep the lights on, and the rent paid. This will greatly expand and enhance our ability to provide more services, activities, events, and resources for more Veterans and First Responders and their families, as we will not get distracted by being in a constant state of fund-raising in order to keep our programs alive, bills paid, and services functioning.
We partner with local businesses, companies from the hunting, shooting, fishing, & outdoor recreation communities, as well as other nonprofit organizations focused on veteran and first responder issues; such as those organizations who are able to provide access to non-traditional or experimental treatments and therapies, and organizations who are able to provide transportation to specialty treatments/providers who may be several states away. We also maintain relationships with local and TeleHealth mental health providers who are able to provide specialty care for specific cases where the available local resources or mechanisms are unable to provide what our heroes may need, provide care pro bono, or at a reduced fee.
All of our programs and services are provided to our heroes absolutely free of charge, and we never let money be the reason our veterans and first responders are unable to participate in our activities, events, or services.
Having lost numerous friends, family members, teammates, and colleagues to suicide and the war inside their head, our founder, President, & Chairman of the Board of Directors takes a very personal interest in ensuring no one fights their demons alone. This includes our heroes’ families, as they suffer too. And in many cases, it is more difficult for the family to find the resources THEY need!
We lose, on average, 22 Veterans each day to suicide. Since 2010, more veterans have died by their own hand than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. (That is more than 58,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines). Police Officers/Deputies, EMS personnel, and Firefighters are more likely to die from suicide than he hazards they face in the line of duty.
Repeated exposure to trauma changes the very core of who we are. Emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. Unchecked and untreated, these changes can lead to chemical and hormonal changes and imbalances inside the body/brain, sleep disorders, major depression, social isolation, substance abuse, and other self-destructive behaviors. At Giving Back, we use our experiences, successes, and failures to bridge the gap, and bring these people who risk and sacrifice so much on our behalf, back from the hell they experienced and endured, and help them to reunite and reconnect with their families in a meaningful and sustainable way, while providing continued peer and resource support services so they don’t become the next suicide statistic.
We ensure that every penny is used to its fullest potential and goes directly to our programs and events designed to restore a life with meaning and purpose or repair a marriage that appeared destined to fail because the warrior within was still engaged in a secret war inside his, or her mind. What is not said, and the conversations our Veterans and First Responders don’t have are killing them each and every day. We strive to put an end to that silence, and ensure no one is left behind, or has to fight the demons alone. Everyone needs a helping hand occasionally. At Giving Back, we ensure when someone reaches out for that help, the help is there to reach back.