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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Legacies Alive

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Provide unwavering support to Families of the Fallen by ensuring the Legacies of our Fallen Heroes are forever alive. Legacies Alive strengthens and supports every family of the fallen and brings national awareness to the life and character of each service member who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We want to provide unwavering support to families of the fallen by ensuring the legacies of our fallen heroes are forever alive.

Results: GOLD STAR FAMILIES WE'VE REACHED: 526 MILES TRAVELED FOR FALLEN HEROES: 6,686 FUNDS RAISED FOR FAMILIES: $284,648 We use 3 methods to accomplish our mission: Legacy Challenges: specifically designed endeavors that take physical and mental challenges to the extreme. Legacies Alive believes that extreme sacrifice on behalf of the participants is the best way to bring national awareness to its mission. - 2014: "Mike's Hiking For Heroes" our co-founder, Mike Viti hiked over 7,100 kilometers (4,400+ miles), 1 km for every fallen service member killed in the Global War on Terror. The hike last 232 days, through 15 U.S. States - 2015: "Swim For Their Sacrifice" Chris Ring became the 1st American to swim the entire length of the Mississippi River. Swimming 2,350 miles, through 10 U.S. States in 181 days. Legacy Projects: Our team partners with Gold Star families to identify the legacies of our brave fallen heroes that have impacted their communities. Once we have precisely identified their individual legacy, we work with the family to erect permanent memorials that depict and preserve the legacies of our fallen heroes as service members and as unique individuals. Legacy Projects celebrate the lives of the fallen as members of the families and communities in which they so intimately touched. Legacies Alive recognizes that in addition to fighting for our freedom, every fallen hero was also part of their family and community. We work alongside these families to create Legacy Projects, that not only celebrate these heroes’ sacrifice, but also who they were as members of their families and communities. We currently have 4 Legacy Projects. Legacy Events: We host events that allow our team to meet with Gold Star Families, learn about the legacies of their fallen heroes and most importantly connect them with other Gold Star Families. We feel the healing truly begins to occur when the families have the ability to fellowship with each other.

Geographic areas served: Legacies Alive (LA), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen and support the Gold Star families of our nation’s fallen heroes and brings national awareness to the life and character of all service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Founded by combat veterans, we feel a special connection with these families and are especially committed to our cause.

Programs: Build permanent memorials for veterans killed in action

events that increase the awareness of vetrans killed in action which lead to an increase in donations for the mission of the entity

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Where to begin, the first time we heard of Legacies Alive is when Chris Ring was swimming the Mississippi River. First thing I thought is no way, when the guys were in Iowa we had the honor to spend about 3 weeks with them. What a Great group of guys, they never once wanted to talk about themselves, they wanted to hear our stories of our loved ones. We shared our story about our son Sgt Michael Ristau who KIA 7-12-13. We also have a 12 yr old daughter and a 25 yr old son, we were all having a problem excepting our loss, Chris, Matt, Seth, Justin, Mark and the rest of the crew talked with us and we were able to start excepting it because we know he will never be forgotten. Our daughter Halie has such a great bond with Chris now and I think they will continue for many years. Legacies Alive made our dream come true and we were able to go to the Army/Navy game. We cant wait to see what the next challenge is and hoping Iowa is included in it so we can continue to share these ventures. Love all of you, From The Ristau Family

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An honorable and dedicated organization lead by combat veterans with a strong passion behind the drive to raise awareness and support for our fallen Veterans. High values separate Legacies Alive in mandating more than 97% of the funds donated go directly to supporting the Legacy and Families of the Fallen. We consider it a privilege to support and volunteer for the mission they have chosen. A pair of shoes that can never be taken off, Gold Star Families often feel abandoned after their loved ones are laid to rest. These wounds while not visible, however still crippling is the work this organization wants to help Heal. The gave an Allegiance to Serve Our Country and that they did! Please consider remembering those Fallen and contribute towards the healing and keeping their Legacies Alive. Let the Healing Begin!
Joe and laura

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassionate non profit with the mission of Gold Star Family support. This organization was founded by combat veterans who walk the walk and support Gold Star Families with compassion giving them comfort that their sacrifice will not be forgotten erecting memorials and bringing Gold Star families together. Check out Mikes Hiking for Heroes and Legacies Alive to learn more.

3 Valerie73

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son Army SPC Joseph Alan Kennedy was KIA on 15APR2011 in Sini, Afghanistan by small arms fire when his unit was ambushed by insurgents on their way back to FOB Andar. It was the beginning of a journey that we were unprepared to travel as a Gold Star family.

In June of 2015 we learned of a Navy combat veteran that was on a mission to swim the entire length of the mighty Mississippi to raise awareness of what a Gold Star family is. We live in a MN river community and the connections were made very quickly.

It is our privilege to have met some of America's finest men and women involved in Legacies Alive

This organization has their heart in the right place. They are doing amazing work to support the families of America's fallen heroes.

God bless each and every one ... and bless their mission. They are our future leaders.

2 Caren K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All at Legacies Alive are selfless and humble. I've never met such an amazing team! It was an honor to work along side them.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is an amazing gift to the community of Gold Star families. As a gold star sister, I am moved by their integrity, their compassion, and their authenticity. They genuinely care about keeping their brothers' and sisters' legacies alive. They are the real deal.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful nonprofit truly dedicated to helping Gold Star families keep the legacy of their fallen hero alive. This is so important to the well-being of these surviving families.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Legacies Alive is a wonderful organization made up of wonderful people. They are so dedicated to serving Gold Star families and bringing awareness and support to those who have lost a loved one in service to their country. Each event that I have attended that they put on has been nothing short of spectacular. They put so much thought and care into everything they do, and the opportunity to meet and socialize with other Gold Star families is a gift I didn't even realize I needed. They deserve every award for their dedication and hard work for families like mine. We love them so much and are grateful for the lifelong friends we have met because of Legacies Alive as well as the friends we have made in Legacies Alive. They are incredible, thoughtful, selfless people who are using their passion to do good for others.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The integrity, honor, and dedication exhibited by every team member of Legacies Alive for such a needed cause is remarkable. Never have I met such a selfless, professional, and well executed charity in all of my volunteer services. By supporting, attending, and meeting the families it was clear to see how important and needed this charity mission is and the support they provide is priceless. By volunteering with Legacies Alive there is no question the value is added with the time you spend and the money that is donated --you are able to see first hand the direct support to the families.

3 amltmom

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Gold Star mother more people seem to care about how mu son died rather than how he lived. I am sure that I am not the only Gold Star that feels this way. The wonderful men and women involved with Legacies Alive truly care about my sons life and ensuring his legacy is remembered. This is an incredible group of men and women caring about our fallen and the families left behind. I encourage everyone to follow them and learn what a Gold Star is and how to help us remember our heroes. It is not about how they died it is about how they lived that is the legacy.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an honor and privilege to assist Legacies Alive on a recent campaign. Never have I met a more dedicated, selfless and humble group of veterans, families and volunteers. Without a doubt the best grass roots charity working to ensure that our fallen and their families are NEVER forgotten.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Legacies Alive is the standard-bearer for nonprofits focused on the memories of our fallen military personnel and the families left behind. It's because of their efforts that Carry The Load selected them as a nonprofit partner in 2015. Their Legacy events (walking across the U.S. and swimming the length of the Mississippi River) speak volumes for the dedication they have toward raising awareness and ensuring our Gold Star families know how deeply we care for their sacrifice and the selfless service of their loved one. Our military will remain the tip of the spear in the war on terror for years to come. I only hope our service members have a little more piece of mind knowing an orgization like Legacies Alive will be there for those who are left behind.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that is truly committed to the values that make this country great. It is rooted in selflessness and reminds us of what our country truly represents.

Mike Viti and Mark Faldowski have done a great job with this organization and have created great opportunities to highlight the importance of remembering our fallen - and they have done so by honoring and recognizing Gold Star families.