The I Carried the Cross Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Hastings, Michigan. Our organization’s projects, implemented by a well-trained staff, offer many opportunities for the reduction of depravity and poverty through needed human services. Supporting the development of mind, body, and soul, I Carried the Cross Foundation provides as many individuals as possible with a thorough foundation for future success.
Mission: To serve those that have served our country using the Christian principles upon which our country was founded without compromise.
It is the mission of I Carried the Cross Foundation to show support for our American veterans, as well as our current service men, women, and their families. Our organization accomplishes this objective by bringing like minded organizations together in an easily accessible manner so that our veterans may better utilize the benefits and programs, both government- sponsored and private, currently in place. Our representatives continually seek out and develop programs designed to meet the needs of those utilizing our services.
In a continuing effort to serve the needs of our communities by bringing together organizations that serve our veterans, serviceman, and woman, it is our aspiration to promote The American Legion. Congress chartered and incorporated The American Legion in 1919 as a patriotic veteran organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. The American Legion is committed to mentoring activities and the sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
In contrast to other veteran’s organization, the American Legion offers a number of local programs and activities that strengthen its commitment to our nation’s grass roots and the people we serve. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.
Our organization’s goal is to have an I Carried the Cross Foundation volunteer in every American Legion post across the country to advocate for the needs of the people that have served and the ones that are currently serving this great country. We will promote the American Legion, the Son of the American Legion, and the Auxiliary membership by bringing servicemen and women, both past and present, through their front doors and educating them on the benefits they are qualified to receive from the American Legion, additional nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and I Carried the Cross Foundation.
To assist servicemen and women, both past and present, the organization will research and identify nonprofit organizations and government agency programs that assist veterans, current servicemen and women, and their families. Our representatives will create a database of such organizations and government programs that will include their required qualifications and application processes. I Carried the Cross Foundation’s volunteers stationed in American Legion posts throughout the country will assist individuals in identifying the services they need and applying for said services.
Our secondary mission is to document our American Veterans’ stories to preserve American history, promote patriotism and honor, and increase public awareness that “Freedom Isn’t Free”. Using the American Legion, AMVet, VFWs, VA, Veterans’ Hospitals, and other veteran organizations, we will identify veterans who wish to tell their stories.
Recognizing the needs that exist among our target population, I Carried the Cross Foundation’s staff provides individuals with a variety of social services programs that focuses on individual empowerment. Throughout implementation of the proposed activities, our organization will continue to address the needs of our target communities, to brighten lives, and to assist each participant achieve their personal goals. The organization’s objectives are accomplished by implementation of stimulating activities and materials that are organized around a well-developed prospectus.
Specifically, our goals include:
- Continue the growth and maturity of our organization and its programs while expanding the programs we are offering to serve more people in the community
- Increase both the local and national community’s awareness of our organization, our mission, and the services we are offering
- Increase the number of professional individuals involved with our organization in an effort to better serve the individuals we work with
- Put the necessary building blocks in place to continue operating our organization in the smoothest and most efficient manner possible in order to better serve our participants
- Continue developing our name within the community and build a strong reputation for delivering the highest quality services possible with the resources we have available
- Create long lasting and positive changes in the lives of the individuals our organization is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with
- Build long-standing relationships and partnerships with other organizations in the community that share our vision
Across the United States, a recognizable need has developed for the provision of outreach services for the underserved veteran population, particularly the aging Vietnam and Korean War Veterans. While the obstacles that must be faced by this demographic can be seen as immeasurable, some of the most pressing issues facing today’s community are the number of military families living in poverty and lack of development programs aimed towards those who have served in the military. Each year the statistics become more disheartening, illustrating the dire need for programs that seek to break these cycles and begin reversing these disturbing trends.
Recent surveys have shown that a staggering amount of veterans have difficulty making ends meet when seeking adequate housing and basic needs. In 2011, about 5.2 million veteran-headed households spent over 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Almost a quarter of those households spent more than half of their income on housing costs. The rising housing costs make it difficult for these families to save for potential emergencies, or afford other basic items, due to a large portion of their income being directed towards housing needs.
In a recent news report, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a study called Housing Instability among Our Veterans. This report details the characteristics and housing needs of veterans. This report provides evidence those veterans who are racial minorities, females, who have a disability, and who served after September 11, 2001 have the greatest housing cost burden, placing them at risk of homelessness. Other disheartening statistics showed that low income female-headed veteran families are just as likely as married veteran families to experience housing cost burden. An affordable housing accommodation is an issue that is affecting all military families regardless of age, gender, or race.
Our activities are overseen by a group of well-qualified individuals. Our diverse staff members have ties to the community, and thus possess the unique ability to relate to the target demographic. Additionally, our Board of Directors is comprised of a professional group of talented individuals who are dedicated to committing their time and resources to building a stronger community.