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Call of Duty Endowment Finds Jobs For 50,000 Veterans

The Call of Duty Endowment recently reached a new milestone — it’s now helped 50,000 veterans find employment since 2009, “Call of Duty” publisher Activision Blizzard announced in a blog post on Monday.

The Call of Duty Endowment provides grants to charities that prepare veterans for high-quality jobs, according to its website. It bestows the awards annually to the highest performing nonprofits that meet its benchmarks in effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity. It also provides advice and support to partners in addition to funding. Last year, it expanded overseas and now also works with select U.K.-based veterans charities.

When the Endowment was founded, its initial goal was to place 25,000 U.S. veterans in jobs by the end of 2018, but it met that milestone two years early. So, it upped the goal to 50,000 by 2019. That number is significant because it’s the equivalent of more than half the U.S. Army’s annual recruit class, said the Endowment’s executive director, Dan Goldenberg.

“Our approach is to marry common sense business practices with philanthropy, which enables us to place vets in jobs at about 1/6 the cost per placement of U.S. Department of Labor efforts,” he said. “We are proud of, and share this achievement with, all of our grantees who have worked tirelessly towards our shared goal.”

“The Call of Duty Endowment has exceeded expectations and continues to benefit the lives of veterans and their families, significantly giving back to those who sacrificed for others,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard and co-founder of the Endowment. “With U.S. and U.K. veteran unemployment and underemployment challenges persisting, I am thrilled to continue our efforts with an ambitious goal of securing employment for 100,000 veterans by 2024.”

The Endowment has awarded more than $28 million in grants to date, and Activision has donated $31million of its own money, the publisher said. It held a charity livestream called the #CODNATION Challenge this past weekend seeking to raise money for the Endowment. The event featured 12 popular streamers from the “Call of Duty” community and coincided with the launch of “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” on Oct. 12. It raised $118,000 in donations, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Variety via email. The publisher matched that amount, bringing the total raised to $236,000. Last year, the charity stream raised over $250,000.

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