Catch A Lift Fund Is Transforming Wounded Veterans' Lives Through Fitness
Do you ever wonder how veterans cope with life once they come home from combat? After being trained to be on high-alert 24/7, what's it like for them to integrate back into everyday society? It raises the question: our military members protect us, but who protects them?
Over the years HooplaHa has done many stories on organizations that help veterans when they return home, but the personal origin story and mission of the Catch A Lift Fund is among the most moving we've ever covered.
The Catch A Lift Fund (CAL) was founded in 2010, with the sole purpose of helping post-9/11 combat wounded veterans all over the U.S. recover both physically and mentally. Uniquely, CAL's service to veterans centers on physical fitness: the program pays for gym memberships, in-home gym equipment, and personalized fitness, as well as nutrition plans and a peer-support network.
Catch A Lift vets are seeing and feeling results, including:
dramatic weight loss,
reduction in medications,
improved sleep patterns, and
strengthened relationships with family and friends.
To some people, working out the body might not seem equivalent to a therapy session focused on the mind, but CAL participants make clear how powerful its impact can be.
"For us, it's healing," says Sarah Rudder, Marine Corps Veteran, mother, and amputee. "They were able to provide me with the best therapy I've had in my life." To read more about Sarah Rudder, click here.
It was a veteran's life—and death—that inspired the creation of Catch A Lift and the CAL Fund. The founder is Lynn Coffland, whose brother, Army Cpl. Chris Coffland, lost his life in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in November 2009. In telling her brother's story, Lynn remembers that Chris believed strongly in mental and physical fitness—and that through it, anyone can reach their highest potential.
Thanks to Lynn, over the past 7 years CAL has helped more than 3,000 wounded veterans! And due to the program's success, demand has skyrocketed, and nearly 500 wounded veterans have joined the CAL waiting list. To serve these brave men and women, CAL needs to raise about $500,000 a year.
Fortunately, CAL has inspired enthusiastic support from a local and national community; in 2016, the Catch A Lift Fund raised a record $1 million! Subsequently, CAL was honored to ring the NYSE opening bell, received a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, and — most importantly — was able to employ alumni of the program to train other veterans in need.
This year, HooplaHa had the privilege of standing with this amazing organization at the town of Westport, Connecticut's 3rd Annual Veterans Day Benefit event held at Birchwood Country Club, an annual fundraiser that has become an anchor and home for CAL. The CAL and its veterans have support from just about the entire town, as members of the Police Force, local businesses, and other community members come together, and it's truly amazing to see. We're so excited to share with you the incredible stories of perseverance... and all the incredible things that the Catch A Lift Fund is doing, in our new HooplaHa original video.
The Catch A Lift Fund is impacting many people's lives and has received major coverage... After an initial meeting with Lynn + CAL, Emmy award-winning filmmaker Alex Douglas fell in love with the foundation. He ending up donating his time and filmmaking skills and created a short documentary film for Catch a Lift that you can watch here.
Alex is also the Creator + Founder of Sculpting With Time and has had a life-long love affair with film, having been awarded the National Endowment for the Arts (one of the world's most prestigious arts organizations).
This HooplaHa original video was produced by Laurence Sheinman, shot by Johnny Perez, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.
Did you know today is National Face Your Fears day? What are you afraid of? Today is the day to conquer them.
The Joy Riders aren't afraid of much. The all female, international skydiving and base jumping team fall through the sky for fun. They represent joy, passion, inspiration, and work to motivate their audience to go after what they want most in life.
Did you know there are 40 million Americans who suffer from some form of anxiety? Still, there are even more are just dealing with everyday stress. Along with a new guest every episode, comedian Joe Leonardo explains how to make the best of a stressful/anxious situation and give us tips to deal with our anxiety and stress. On this episode, Joe talks with Tristan Miller as they walk over the Queensboro Bridge and face Joe's fear of heights. For FULL SERIES, visit http://www.onlygood.tv/ !
New from OnlyGood.tv! Food Rescue US is a free app based organization that rescues unused food from supermarkets, restaurants, corporations and other entities that produce or serve food. Watch how volunteers use the Food Rescue US app to make sure this food gets to people in need. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!
New from OnlyGood.tv! In A Dog's Journey Home, Episode 6, see the dedicated Tracy's Dogs team in action, led by Tracy and Scott Whyatt, as they work tirelessly to save the lives of thousands of dogs and find them proper homes across the country. We join Tracy and her tech team as they go through the gut wrenching process of selecting the small number of dogs they are able to rescue from an already overcrowded shelter. The team has their hands full, in one case with a large litter of puppies, getting them all settled and cared for. There is lots to do as they prepare the dogs for their upcoming trip to meet with the owners of their new forever homes in Indianapolis, Indiana. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!
To see all of the Dog's Journey Home episodes, start your FREE TRIAL today!
New from OnlyGood.tv! TV personality and mother of 2, Marysol Castro shares stories that highlight the good in the world! This week Marysol shares feel-good stories including one about Julia Alexander's giving spirit and story of survivorship and how she helps other kids affected by cancer. She then turns the spotlight on LiveGirl, a nonprofit Girl Empowerment organization helping to create the next generation of female leaders through positivity and support. Marysol also speaks 1-1 with the stars of OGTV's A Little Joy and Judy who deliver home cooked meals to people going through hard times. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!
New from OnlyGood.tv! In 2001, Dara Pollak was an aspiring dancer in NYC when she was tragically hit by a car. Her leg was shattered and so were her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. While recovering from her accident, Dara found comfort in watching cooking shows and she soon discovered a new passion: food. She launched The Skinny Pig (www.theskinnypignyc.com) in 2008--a blog dedicated to recipes, cooking tips and restaurant reviews. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!
New from OnlyGood.tv! In this new uplifting series, twin sisters Judy Vig and Joy Paoletti deliver home-cooked meals to people going through hard times. Watch Joy and Judy cook up one of their favorite dishes, Chicken Sorrento, and then stop by to comfort Tweed, who had recently lost her husband, Dave, to cancer. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!
New from OnlyGood.tv! TV personality and mother of 2, Marysol Castro shares stories that highlight the good in the world! This week Marysol shares feel-good stories including a man with Asperger's who wrote a children's book about his journey from loneliness to happiness and a family-run farm that supports its community with physical products and charitable donations. Marysol also speaks 1-1 with cancer survivor and aspiring singer Caly Bevier, star of the OGTV series, Caly On The Good. Watch the full video now on OnlyGood.tv!