Leveraging the Experience and Skills of our Veterans to Better our Communities
In 2018, The Mission Continues and Citi Foundation launched a partnership to empower veterans to continue their service by leading service projects at home. Through grant funding from the Citi Foundation, the Mission Continues is expanding its Service Platoons, which address a wide range of neighborhood challenges, including lack of green space, under-resourced schools, food deserts and homelessness.
This year, the Service Platoons have made great strides in supporting local community development in Texas, Florida and New York. Collectively, these platoons have served over 2,440 hours in 2019.
In Texas, the Ft. Worth Service Platoon serves in the Las Vegas Trail neighborhood. Although a small community, it holds some of the highest rates of arrests for drug possession, prostitution and crimes against children. The Platoon partners with schools to address their most pressing needs in a community-wide effort to revitalize the neighborhood. The Fort Worth Platoon has served over 740 hours in 2019.
In Florida, the Tampa Platoon serves organizations working to eradicate homelessness and to support those facing homelessness in Hillsborough County. This effort increases the capacity of organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Trinity Cafe and Bay Ministries, enabling them to better serve their constituents.
“Trinity Cafe is a beacon of hope for so many people in Tampa. Serving alongside Citi to refresh and revitalize this space was inspiring because everyone gave 100%. This commitment and dedication speaks to the values of Citi. We are so honored to call them our partner.”
—Jerry Whatts, Tampa Platoon Leader & United States Navy Veteran
The New York 2nd Platoon is working to build a sense of pride and ownership for the members of the Bronx community through neighborhood beautification and the arts. The Platoon works with Dreamyard and BronxPro to create creative green spaces, develop art exhibits with local artists, and build art installations in the community. The Platoon is working with these partner organizations and influencers to re-imagine and reinvent spaces in the South Bronx to strengthen connections between the people and places they share.
Citi’s collaboration with The Mission Continues extends well beyond just grant dollars. Citi colleagues volunteer alongside Service Platoons to help bolster the growing movement of veteran-led collective action focusing on neighborhood revitalization, homelessness and educational inequality. In June, as part of Citi’s annual Global Community Day, volunteers from Citi Salutes veteran employee networks joined service projects in Fort Worth, Tampa, NYC and Jacksonville to carry out impactful Veteran-led projects contributing to over 550 hours of service. In the last year alone, Citi volunteers worked with Service Platoons more than 100 times across the United States.
“In order for our veterans to have opportunities to succeed, we need to create supportive and empowering environments,” said Service Platoon volunteer and veteran Mark Tomlinson, Risk COO Strategic and Budgetary Sr. Head at Citi. “Citi and Citi Foundation applaud The Mission Continues and its Service Platoons program in providing meaningful opportunities for veteran leaders to leverage their skill sets while making an impact on their local communities.”
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to build stronger communities through service. Our programs in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside nonprofit partners and community leaders to improve educational resources, increase access to parks and green spaces, foster neighborhood identity, and more. Through this unique model, veterans build meaningful connections and grow as individuals while creating long-term, sustainable local impact. To learn more, visit http://www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter at @missioncontinue.
About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.