Net proceeds raised during this one-hour special will benefit the following veteran-serving organizations: Fisher House Foundation, Hire Heroes USA, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, USO (United Service Organizations), Volunteers of America, and Welcome Back Veterans. These organizations provide vital services and support to our nations veterans and their families including housing, job placement, career readiness, health care, rehabilitation and mental health treatment. This television event is made possible due to the generous support of ABC, The Clorox Company and MLB.
"We are thrilled to partner with ABC and the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country," said Entertainment Industry Foundation President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. "We hope this inspiring program will rally Americans to give back to our military families and support organizations that provide vital services to our veterans and their families."
"We've highlighted the difficult struggles our veterans often face when returning home. We are so proud to take this a step further with a moving tribute to our nation's heroes, while inspiring Americans to give back to those who've given our country so much," said George Verschoor, Executive Producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. "In 200 episodes, we've seen thousands of armed forces volunteer to help us rebuild homes and lives. Now we're thrilled to be able to honor all veterans with this television special," said Brady Connell, Executive Producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Less than one percent of America's men and women currently serve in our military. For many, the return to civilian life is marked with physical and emotional wounds. As of June 30, 2010, Veterans Affairs treated 594,000 Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran patients. Of those, 295,000 were diagnosed with at least one mental health condition such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In addition, some face a grim economic reality. As recently as January 2011, the unemployment rate among veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was 15 percent; that's nearly double the national average. Furthermore, their sacrifice extends beyond themselves to their families as more than 700,000 children have experienced one or more parental deployments.
"All across the country, we have talented and dedicated veterans who have been unemployed for far too long," said Hilda Solis, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. "These service men and women are right here and ready to get back to work. They just need a little help from all of us to find a good job at a fair wage and successfully transition from military to civilian life. We applaud ABC and the Entertainment Industry Foundation for broadcasting this special show to raise awareness of the needs of our returning veterans and their families."
EIF, in collaboration with ABC, hopes to raise funds to combat challenges facing our veterans as well as educate Americans on how they can support our heroes through Extreme Makeover: Home Edition "Rise and Honor" A Veterans Day Special. For more information and to make a donation to support veterans and military families, please visit www.riseandhonor.org. For photos or clips from the show, please visit www.abcmedianet.com.
ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY FOUNDATION
The Entertainment Industry Foundation, as a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support charitable initiatives addressing critical health, education and social issues. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org.
ABOUT EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION
The Emmy Award winning reality program Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, now in its 9th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It is executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Fridays from 8:00-10:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
ABOUT FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION
The foundation builds "comfort homes" on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times- during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness and disease, or injury. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 12,000 families and has provided more than 3 million days of lodging to family members since 1990.
ABOUT HIRE HEROES USA (HHUSA)
HHUSA offers transition assistance, job search assistance and job placement services to those who have honorably served in the US military and their spouses.
ABOUT INTREPID FALLEN HEROES FUND (IFHF)
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a leader in supporting the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Begun in 2000 under the auspices of the Intrepid Museum Foundation and established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003, the Fund has provided close to $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.
The USO lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families millions of times a year at hundreds of places worldwide. A private, nonprofit organization, the USO provides a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. It also provides critical support to forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
ABOUT VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA (VOA)
Volunteer of America is a national, faith-based organization dedicated to helping America's most vulnerable groups-including seniors, at-risk youth, the homeless and disabled-- to rebuild their lives. Responding in particular to the challenges facing female veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, many of whom suffer Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Volunteers of America is building housing villages for female veterans whose families are at risk of disruption. Single mothers and other female veterans who are finding it difficult to transition back in to civilian life are targeted and provided support services on site.
ABOUT WELCOME BACK VETERANS (WBV)
Welcome Back Veterans is a MLB Charities initiative, in partnership with the Robert R.McCormick Foundation, designed to support returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families in helping them make a successful transition to civilian life. The program is supported by MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network. Welcome Back Veterans has granted $12 million in grants to non-profit agencies targeting veterans' and their families' greatest needs, focusing on treatment and research of PTSD and TBI. Beneficiaries include the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which is dedicated to providing free and confidential clinical care and support services to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Funds have been contributed by MLB and McCormick Foundation, including funds raised through auctions of game-used products and a donation of sales from Stars & Stripes caps.