As the U.S. and other countries observe Veterans Day on Friday, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and other bizzers are stepping up outreach efforts to aid veterans.
The EIF is launching a major fund-raising campaign dubbed Rise and Honor, to help support reintegration services for veterans and their families. The campaign will have its first big public push with a special edition of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to air Friday on ABC, highlighting the struggles that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have faced in recent years.
The Rise and Honor campaign will benefit a range of veteran service organizations including the USO, Fisher House Foundation, Hire Heroes USA and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Non-profit org Service Nation, whose supporters include first lady Michelle Obama, has enlisted Dwayne Johnson, Miley Cyrus, Brandon Routh and others to help promote its nationwide “11/11/11” event, which will mount large-scale service events in 11 cities. Those projects include landscaping and beautification work at the Veterans Administration building in West L.A., and a USO Care Package bundling drive at Yankee Stadium to aid homeless vets.
“There’s no better way to say thank you (to servicemen and women) … than to actually serve alongside them here at home,” says Chris Marvin, Service Nation’s director of civilian-military partnerships that runs the Mission Serve initiative.
The Mission Serve initiative was one of the organizers of the veterans’ job fair held on the Sony Pictures studio lot in July that drew the participation of the Prince William and Catherine during their West Coast summer swing.
The involvement of celebs is key to raising awareness of veterans’ issues, Marvin said. Johnson and Cyrus have been promoting the 11/11/11 events among their legion of social media followers, Marvin noted. The goal is to spark a national conversation about the importance of honoring the service and sacrifices made by military service members and their families.
There are “no better storytellers out there than Hollywood,” Marvin says.