Change Agents, charities, City Transformation, foundations, Military

Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander moves his veterans support Wins for Warriors Foundation to downtown Detroit

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Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander has moved the headquarters of his Wins for Warriors Foundation (W4WF) to Chrysler House at 719 Griswold downtown Detroit.

?????????????????????“Locating my foundation’s offices in the heart of downtown Detroit reinforces my commitment to the city of Detroit and all the great things that are happening in the city,” Verlander says.

The three-year-old foundation supports veterans and their families by advocating and investing in resources that enable veterans and their families to lead resilient lives.

“I launched Wins for Warriors with a mission to empower those returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan who stand ready to continue to serve on behalf of all of us,” Verlander says on the foundation’s website. “By supporting their well-being and overall behavioral health, we can impact not just their lives but the lives of their family and work to build a healthier community for all.”

Verlander announced W4WF in August 2013 with a commitment of $1 million to launch the foundation. The next year it joined with other philanthropic leaders and participated in the launch of the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative Impact Pledge.

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Since it was founded the W4WF has granted more than $650,000 to projects supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of veterans and their families.

The need is great. According to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs and featured on the W4WF website:

  • A study by RAND shows approximately one-third of those who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will experience post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or depression.
  • 30% of soldiers develop mental problems within 3 to 4 months of being home.
  • Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes.
  • PTSD currently affects 2.2% of the population and 20% of post-9/11 veterans.

To further help support veterans, last Memorial Day Verlander and his foundation teamed up with the Michigan Fitness Foundation and organized a 9K run/one-mile walk. About 350 participated, many of whom were veterans. Both the run and the walk ended with a lap around the warning track to the backstop. Family and friends sat in the ballpark and cheered them on through the final stretch.

J.J. Tighe, CEO of the Michigan Fitness Foundation, worked with Verlander, Alisha Greenberg, director of Wins for Warriors, and other sponsors for nearly a year to make the event happen.

“We talked about, ‘Why don’t we have something here in Detroit, a signature event focused on veterans and focused on our fallen heroes?'” says Tighe in a story on the W4WF website. The Michigan Fitness Foundation endorses races across the state.

The run raised more than $43,000 to help support veterans.

Last Christmas the Wins for Warriors Foundation sent three veterans and their families to Disney World for a week.

“This year I wanted to do something extra special for three veteran families,” Verlander said in a statement from the foundation. “I want to thank each of you for serving our country and I wanted to make sure that your children enjoy an extra special Christmas present this year.”

The Wins for Warriors Foundation is located on the eighth floor of the Chrysler House, which is owned and managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services. It was built in the early 1900s to house the Dime Savings Bank and was renamed Chrysler House in 2011 when the automaker moved some operations into the building.

“We have a great working relationship with Justin and it’s exciting to see how he’s giving back to veterans in our community,” said Dan Mullen, executive vice president of Bedrock Real Estate Services. “On a personal note, my dad is a Vietnam veteran so Wins for Warriors really strikes a chord with me. We are proud to welcome this important organization to Chrysler House.”

The Quicken Loans family of companies also works to enhance the quality of life for veterans through nonprofit sponsorships, the Quicken Loans Veteran Hiring Program and VA Loans.

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