As the year comes to a close, it is always a great time for reflection and celebration. Through good times and bad, it is important to be thankful and share good fortunes with others. Peace of Adventure is particularly grateful this season as we celebrate our first anniversary! 2015 brought about many challenges, but every challenge was met with great successes ensuring the growth of our program and validating our desire to empower veterans to serve individuals with disabilities.
In the fall of 2014, a small and committed group of individuals recognized a unique and powerful way to reach out to the veteran community while also providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The root of the idea stemmed from a belief that providing incredible experiences for veterans is not always enough. To truly “bring veterans home” and aid in societal reintegration, it is important to provide them with the tools to be successful and empower them to do what they do best…LEAD! While kayaking the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, a group of injured veterans were witnessed going out of their way to provide a special experience for a group of civilians with disabilities. The importance of this relationship soon became clear. The great outdoors need to be accessible to individuals of all abilities, and the joy of providing such accessibility is truly therapeutic in nature. The decision was made and Peace of Adventure was created to give veterans a renewed sense of purpose by empowering them to open doors for the disability community.
In 2015, Peace of Adventure partnered with the incredible folks from the Adaptive Sports Center to execute a successful event in the mountains of Colorado. Three veterans served as guides and mentors to three civilians with visual impairments on a backpacking trip deep in the wilderness. Following the program, Peace of Adventure began implementing an innovative peer-support curriculum to engage participant’s long term. With the leadership from a strong board of directors and the help from outside professionals, Peace of Adventure began collecting data from the curriculum and conducting additional research to remain focused on the development of a sustainable care plan for participants. As a newly established nonprofit, the road traveled was not always smooth. Peace of Adventure is incredibly grateful to all those who believe in our concept and have supported us through the challenges of starting a nonprofit. Thank you for your commitment! Without your support, we would not be looking forward to year number two.
As we move forward, we are humbled by our accomplishments but never satisfied. The previous year afforded us the opportunity to dip our toes in the water and make significant impacts on those we reached. However, we are carrying great momentum into 2016 and are ready to take a seat at the proverbial table. We currently have four programs on the calendar and are looking to add a few more—we hope to expand outside of Colorado to reach more individuals. We are continuing to develop our curriculum to ensure we are advocating for participants in the most effective way possible.
With our desired growth in mind, we are asking for your help. Peace of Adventure has a very unique opportunity to create programs unlike any other in the veteran space. At the core of our mission is the belief that we, as a society, must play an active role in supporting our veterans. 22 veterans a day commit suicide and until that number is zero, we are not doing enough. At Peace of Adventure, we are committed to standing beside our veterans for the long haul and creating programs that don’t just provide experiences, but empower significant growth and connectedness. As we commit to continued service, we are asking for a commitment from you. With 2015 coming to a close, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Peace of Adventure to help support our efforts. End of year donations can be made online at www.peaceofadventure.org/donate or by mail at P.O. Box 1551, Colorado Springs, CO 80901.
Thank you those who continue to support our mission and thank you to those who chose to support us moving forward. We are truly excited about the year ahead and look forward to celebrating our 2nd anniversary with you very soon!