The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. Is Giving $1.2 Million to the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services to Support Military Transition Assistance Programming

This grant is part of more than $5 million in strategic investments specifically designed to support US veterans and children of military families.
Feb 28, 2016 7:05 PM ET

Building Confidence for the Next Mission

By Frank Gaudio

Something you may not know about me is that I’ve been a volunteer assistant women's golf coach at the collegiate level since 2013.  Having played my entire life, including my high school and college years, I believe my time coaching is actually the most rewarding.  Through the players, I’m still connected to the athleticism of golf and the thrill of competition; but that’s not what I love the most. What I love is the privilege of helping these dedicated young women become better athletes, and hopefully better prepared for their future by developing skills that can set them up for success in life. And it’s the same privilege and honor I have through my work with the PwC Charitable Foundation, which just announced a $1.2 million donation to the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. This grant is part of the Foundation’s larger commitment to strategically invest $5 million to help veterans and their families overcome barriers to education, training and job readiness for successful transition to civilian careers.

How is it the same? Because the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services utilizes a unique approach of supporting veterans before exiting the military as a way of enabling a path for job training and placement. The action of reaching service members before they have separated from the military is a key differentiator and critical component of the Easter Seals Dixon Center’s strategy. The same way I’m helping to prepare players for a win and life beyond the present, the Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services is helping to prepare transitioning veterans and military families for the one of their biggest wins: a successful shift into future civilian life.

Since World War II, Easter Seals has been a “go to” resource for veterans, military families and those who support the military community. Serving 1.3 million people annually, thousands of whom are connected to military service, they have been a leading service provider for people with disabilities, veterans and their families. To drive a new conversation and refocus services in local communities across the nation, Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veteran Services was formed in 2012. This renewed strategic priority supports a conversation about both the potential of veterans, as well as the engagement of organizations in connecting veterans and military families with assistance they may need to succeed in meaningful employment, education and overall health and wellness in local communities.  

According to a recent news article, “in 2014, there were 3.2 million veterans who had served since 9/11. Each year, more than 250,000 veterans transition back into the civilian workforce, but as the unemployment numbers indicate, not all find the transition without challenges.” While we all know the move from service member to civilian status involves more than a change in job title, do we really understand how much more is involved? Imagine if one single career move potentially changed every part of your life – and your family’s life – at once. A move like that involves months of preparation and societal support in order to be successful. The Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services provides the connective tissue between veterans, the communities and the organizations – both public and private – that want to help meet their needs. And one the most critical areas of need can be job training and placement.

The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. is focused on grant making that can have a profound effect on people, including active duty military service member, veterans and their families who have sacrificed for our country. The investment in Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services is one way the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. is addressing this critical need area. Our grant is specifically geared towards supporting service members, who are classified as End Term of Service or End of Active Service, plan for and make successful career changes through support from the Easter Seals Dixon Center. The Foundation’s investment and collaboration with ESDC will help expand programming to seven military installations across the nation, impacting thousands of veterans and their families with employment training and credentialing as well as information regarding community resources.

In the 2015 Veterans Day Proclamation, the President said our true strength as a nation is measured by how we take care of our veterans when they return home.  Being a Trustee and the Veterans Liaison for the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., I’m proud to contribute to the strength of our nation by championing support for veterans and military families, and the organizations that help them thrive. As I continue my work with the Foundation – to make more than $5 million in strategic investments by 2019 to assist veterans and military children overcome the barriers to education, workforce transition, and professional development – I’m honored to be helping thousands of veterans build confidence for their next mission: a positive transition into the civilian workforce.