An Invitation for Physical & Social Activity
There are many fantastic and wonderful nonprofits and charities dedicated to serving veterans. Team Red, White, and Blue is a nonprofit organization that works “…to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” With chapters all over the country, Team RWB is a powerful force for good in the lives of many veterans. What’s unique about Team RWB is that they actively invite civilians and nonveterans to join their local chapter and hang out with veterans. This is because Team RWB is interested in helping veterans assimilate into civilian life. One of these civilians is Amy Donaldson, a writer for Deseret News. In an interesting and detailed article, Donaldson reports: “When I joined, my goal was simple – serve those who’d served our country. Instead, those I sought to help have offered me much more than I will ever be able to give them.
Donaldson also recounts some of the many lessons she has learned from the veterans in her local chapter, and the great relationships she has established with them. While deeply personal, Donaldson’s experiences are not unique; civilians and veterans across the country are having similarly personal and meaningful experiences through Team RWB. Team RWB is mostly made up of chapters & communities, whose purpose it is to “deliver consistent, local opportunities for veterans and the community to connect through physical and social activity that include weekly fitness activities, monthly social events, and participation in local races. Each chapter and community has leadership positions available for veterans or civilians looking to be more active in serving.
So what does each chapter actually do? Well, for the most part, they run. They go running together, enter races together, and encourage each other to keep training. Running, however, is just the tip of the iceberg; Team RWB uses any kind of physical activity in a social setting to grow and foster strong friendships and networking relationships. Team RWB was founded in 2010 and currently has 56,000 members in over 115 communities across the globe. Team RWB focuses heavily on physical activity because physical and social activity has been linked with mental health and treatment. Exercising regularly can raise your self-image, make your outlook on life more bright, and also bring hormones and chemicals back into balance, making it a strong treatment for PTSD and other mental disorders.
Team RWB’s website is very informative and extremely well put-together. Those looking to contribute or volunteer their time will be very pleased with their transparency and detailed explanation of their financials. Team RWB maintains an annual audit to outline exactly where their money goes. They also work hard to make sure as much of donated funds go to serving the veterans they were intended for. If you’re looking to volunteer with Team RWB, we’ll go over several of the opportunities here and you can check out their website for more info if you see something that interests you. You can join your local chapter or community, become part of the Veteran Ambassador Program, volunteer in a Veteran Athletic Camp, or participate in the Leadership Development Program.
Chapters and communities host regular fitness activities and social gatherings. They run races and participate in other fitness events together. Each chapter has a host of leadership positions that veterans can use to gain leadership experience. The Veteran Ambassador Program is a unique outreach program that makes contact with new veterans joining chapters and makes sure that they have all the information they need to succeed and enjoy the program. Veteran Athletic Camps are where members can go to learn a new sport or activity they can take home to their local chapter. These camps are taught by world-class athletes, and other volunteers can participate as well. The Leadership Development Program is an area where Team RWB is working to grow aggressively. The LDP consists of education and training, leadership experiences, and resources veterans can access while serving in leadership positions.
Check out Team RWB’s website to learn more about participating in your local chapter or seeking for volunteer opportunities. You can also read real-life stories about the effect Team RWB has had in individual lives.