Image via Gary Sinise Foundation
Happy Labor Day, darlings! I hope you are embracing this holiday, and its purpose of recognizing the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to our country.
Labor Day, as you know, is also commonly thought of as the unofficial end of summer. For me, that means I have gorgeously crisp Chicago streets to look forward to, many lined with trees whose leaves will soon change from vibrant green to jewel toned amber, maroon, crimson and beyond. (And, if you read my post yesterday, you know I plan to take the time to slow down and take it all in this fall!)
But today, I want to share with you the message that giving back is the key to remaining vibrant in the changing seasons of our own lives. And I want to share the story, and the mission, of a man I adore and admire, Gary Sinise. This man deserves our applause for his time and generosity to our wounded warriors, thanks to the work of The Gary Sinise Foundation.
“At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation by
honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders,
their families, and those in need.
We do this by creating and supporting unique
programs designed to entertain, educate,
inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”
Who Is Gary Sinise?
Many of you know Gary Sinise as an actor and producer. His role as Sgt. Dan in Forest Gump won rave reviews as did his portrayal of Harry Truman. He even won a Golden Globe.
He is also a co-founder of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago; one of the finest theaters in America. And who can forget CSI, darlings!
But there is so much more to this man…
His finest role, in my opinion, is the founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. The charity raises awareness of the plight of our American heroes from first responders at 911 to our wounded warriors who fought — and fight — so gallantly to protect our country.
“For the past several years I have devoted much of my time to supporting the men and women who protect and defend our great country supporting many projects on my own to support those who serve, as well as their families.” ~Gary Sinise
As supporters of the Gary Sinise Foundation, my husband, Sheldon Good and I, attend many of his events. During one of his events, we had the opportunity to meet and listen to the story of Sgt. Bryan Anderson, a Purple Heart recipient who lost both legs and his left hand on his second tour in Iraq.
Setting a Fine Example
It is easy to take out a pen and write a check. My husband and I know people who do that, but Gary Sinise does that and more. He is a hero because he volunteers his time and funds to help severely wounded warriors. Furthermore, he travels all over the United States and Europe to visit our vets in hospitals and even builds custom houses that fit the needs of the veterans.
He headlines programs across America and tells the story of his purpose and passion; most times with a wounded warrior acting as an Ambassador of his foundation. He travels all over the world from Europe, Asia, the United Kingdom and Afghanistan with the Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band, entertaining the troops and raising funds for warriors at events.
Back In The News This Labor Day
I knew I had to remind my HoneyGood community about the many worthy projects that Gary heads up when an email hit my inbox on August 30. The email detailed Gary’s involvement in filming a Public Service Announcement urging the public to to record interviews and/or submit photos, letters, diaries or journals of their veterans to VHP, the Veteran History Project.
VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. VHP relies on volunteers to interview veterans to contribute to the permanent library collection by submitting audio and video interviews along with documentation. To learn more about the project and download the field kit visit www.loc.gov/vets
Programs Started by Gary Sinise
R*I*S*E (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment)
Can we imagine the simple tasks of life without limbs, total blindness or burns over 80% of our body? R*I*S*E provides our wounded heroes and their families with the necessary resources to overcome their life challenges by building custom, smart one-of-a-kind homes all across the country for our most severely wounded, their families and caregivers.
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
This band boosts morale on military bases, both at home and abroad. The band also plays for benefits, raising awareness at concerts across the country.
Serving Our Heroes
This program provides classic American meals, served during layovers at International airports as well as Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
Arts and Entertainment
This program serves the defenders of our nation by creating arts and entertainment outreach programs.
Invincible Spirits Festivals
Another example of a wonderful program put in place by Gary Sinise is this daylong program at our military medical hospitals for wounded warriors, their families, and their caregivers. Their courage is celebrated with the Lt. Dan Band and celebrity chef Robert Irving, who serves delicious meals. There is even a carnival or fair-like atmosphere at the event for any children in attendance.
Gary Sinise Foundation Ambassadors Council
This council is made up of wounded warriors, known as Ambassadors, who represent the mission and purpose of the Foundation. Through speaking engagements, public appearances, and leadership opportunities they share their personal stories to make people like myself aware of the needs of our veterans. They are personally selected by Gary Sinise for their exceptional character and patriotism.
Visit the foundation online at www.garysinisefoundation.org.
It has been said that, “The secret of living is giving.” As visible, vibrant women after 50, it is integral that we find a way to give back to our community. What that looks like is as individual as the women each of us are, but the joy and value we get from being charitable is universal. What causes are close to your heart? Please share your thoughts with me via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or in the comments section below.
If you enjoyed this story, please subscribe to my email list. Once a day, when I post a new story, you will receive it in your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE.