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Veterans Moving Forward Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Mission: (1) be the premier, national, not-for-profit organization for veterans seeking and receiving assistance/service or skilled companion dogs at no cost to the veterans; (2) be the most effective and trusted resource to provide canine therapy for veterans; (3) optimize veterans' employment in distributing service dogs to veterns to meet growing demands, (4) make a meaningful difference in the lives of our veterans and increase their safety and independence within their environment; and (5) educate veterans, the health care community servicing them, and the general public on the efficacy of assistance/service dogs and canine therapy.

Target demographics: Veterans

Programs: Vmf assistance/service, facility and companion dogs, the organization's most valuable assets, are provided at no cost to disabled veterans, whether the disabilities were incurred during military service or during private life following that service. It costs vmf as much as $35,000 to raise, train and place an assistance dog, depending upon its ultimate role and the complexity of the veterans's needs being served. Each of vmf's highly trained dogs is assessed throughout an ongoing 18 to 24 months training and placement cycle, to ensure the service dog is trained to meet a disabled veteran's specific needs. Vmf does not maintain a fixed training facility. Our service and therapy dogs are trained at volunteers' homes in catharpin and hamilton, va and at local partner facilities. Vmf stays involved after the dog is placed as well, evaluating the continuing effectiveness of the relationship, again, at no cost to the veteran vmf relies on the support of its generous donors as well as more than 30,000 volunteer hours during 2014. Veterans moving forward continues to have an all volunteer, non-paid staff, and, for the first time in our organization's history we have benefited from the services provided by a federal employee under the provisions of the intergovernmental personnel act mobility program. Following are specific program service accomplishments in 2014:1. Placed third vmf-raised/trained service dog "katrina" with a marine veteran; placed fourth vmf-raised/trained sercice dog "storm" with an army veteran; placed fifth vmf-raised/trained service dog "jug" with an air force veteran. 2. Placed our first vmf-raised/trained facility dog "neil" with a licensed clinical physician treating us marines and their families at camp lejeune, nc. 3. Trained an additional five puppies to become assistance/service dogs for veterans with mental or physical challenges via the vmf training pipeline. 4. Provided therapy dog teams to engage in animal-assisted therapy with private practice clinicians (psychologists, psychotherapists, lcsws, and lpcs) working in various northern virginia, maryland, west virginia, washington dc, and pennsylvania facilities treating veterans with traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) depression, substance abuse, and 12-step programs; provided hundreds of "comfort dog" team engagements for animal-assisted activities with veterans at medical centers, veteran support groups, and outreach events. 5. Worked with veterans to execute vmf programs to raise, socialize, and train assistance/service dogs for veterans and to raise awareness of the needs of the nation's disabled veterans. 6. Educated hundreds of veterans, their families, and health care teams on the value of therapy and service dogs and the processes involved in obtaining a qualified service dog.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization with a wonderful cause! The joy, comfort, and love that these dogs provide to the veterans in which they are paired with makes this one of my favorite organizations to support. Would encourage others to do the same!

James A.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have totally enjoyed my experience with VMF. I look forward to the day I come home with my Service Dog an event that is not that far off into the future. They have been assisting me throughout this journey and I am greatful for all of thier assistance and guidance. They have been extremely thoughful and are dedicated to the Veterans and the dogs that they train for them. Zamp will change my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer at VMF for over a year now and am honored to support the VMF mission to provide service dogs and canine therapy services to veterans with physical and/or mental health challenges. The VMF staff is committed to the mission and every activity is focused on the goal of helping servicemembers. VMF is implementing growth measures (facilities and staff) to increase their footprint and to help even more deserving servicemembers. The pandemic has severely limited VMF’s ability to hold fundraising events and to continue their growth trajectory. However progress is being made, even in light of these challenges. Please consider visiting VMF’s website to learn the many ways you can help this worthwhile organization.

COTB

Board Member

Rating: 5

Veterans Moving Forward is the best non-profit in the business of providing highly trained assistance dogs to disabled American veterans, at no cost to the veterans who receive these amazing dogs. The VA/US government does not provide such assistance. VMF has vastly improved its business practices recently, to become more efficient in its application of resources to train support dogs for impaired veterans. It continues to train assistance dogs to the highest standards, and then carefully pair them with disabled veterans, based on the veteran’s requirements.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have supported Veterans Moving Forward for many years as an Army veteran and volunteer. This charity addresses a vital need, disabled veterans who have served honorably in our military. VMF has now become a high performing organization.
It is at the center of the target of my deepest affection and concerns. Veterans deserve our generous support, and service dogs are clearly the most noble and capable of all domestic animals. They make a critically important difference. The highest priority recipient of Americans’ charitable support should be VMF.

Donor

Rating: 5

Love what Vets Moving Forward does and stands for. Made my first donation and a team member immediately reached out and offered me the opportunity to visit the training facility and meet the canines and trainers! On subsequent donations they reached out and showed me what I helped them accomplish. CEO Gordon Sumner even takes the time to engage with patrons as well. I love his zeal for supporting Veterans! Will continue to support this organization and its mission. Keep up the good work VMF!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a founding Board member of Veterans Moving Forward. We provide service dogs to Veterans who would clinically benefit from the assistance of a highly trained dog. We have a fully staffed training and development center and a proven methodology for producing service dogs in several categories, according to the needs of our sponsored Veterans. Our organization is responsible lifetime for the service dog’s training, veterinary care, and food, thereby placing no burden on the Veteran. We have a great team of staff and a large cadre of caring, professional volunteers, each focused on the mission of making our Veterans lives better. I have supported Veterans Moving Forward wholeheartedly with my time and funds, believing our organization makes a meaningful difference to our service veterans that deserve the gratitude and support from all of us. John Prufeta

Gordon4

Donor

Rating: 5

I wanted to inform you that Veterans Moving Forward has reached the “Highest Level of Recognition Offered by GuideStar – Platinum Level”!!!
What is Platinum Level? GuideStar Platinum is a way for VMF to share our progress and results as we continue to report our metrics-based achievements through our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile as we expand our service and emotional support dog training programs in the near future.

Who will see Platinum information? Millions of people will be able to see this information on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and through a network of more than 200 applications and websites that are powered by our profile’s data. This includes:

• Some 10 million annual visitors to guidestar.org each year.
• The millions of visitors to donation platforms, including: AmazonSmile, Facebook, JustGive, Network for Good, and dozens of other online giving portals.
• All major U.S.-based donor-advised funds, such as Fidelity Charitable.
• Dozens of online giving portals.
• Thousands of staff from all types of foundations.
• More than 18 leading community foundations.
• Nearly 20 leading community foundations.

I personally thank all of the VMF Team, especially our great staff and volunteers. Together we’ll continue to work very hard to gain not only your support but also to reach out across the country as we expand our “Paw Print”, seeking new and exciting opportunities and financial support for our growing service and emotional support dog programs.

Please share our great news on your social media sites with all of your friends and connections. And, as always, “Thank You” for your continued support to VMF as together, we provide support to those veterans dealing with mental and/or physical challenges via our service dog programs.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Without a doubt, one of the best of it's kind... a nonprofit that provides trained/certified service dogs to veterans at no cost to the veteran or their family. I've been proud to have been with this organization since it's beginning 5 years ago. We also say "thank you" to our many volunteers and financial supporters for without your support we could not achieve our mission.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Hello, I visited training office in Washington DC and was very much impressed with a highly professional approach is being applied to train the dogs. The coaches achive amazing results, those dogs are really great. And I also met with a former army person who raises and trains dogs voluntarily to give them to disable veterans who is next in line. And line is tremendously long. So, there are different ways to help here.
Our family made a decision to become a donor for Veterans Moving Forward so more veterans could obtain a trained dog - a great help but also a wonderful friend.
With best regards,
Olga Gouroudeva

Board Member

Rating: 5

The need for service vets to get lifesaving PTSD help is massive. The solution is seemingly simple: specially train service dogs to help them with anxiety attacks and daily tasks. However, the training process is time consuming and takes a long duration. This organization plays a huge role in changing the lives of all involved: the vets, the dogs, the volunteers. It is a lean and well run organization being heavily supported by volunteers. I am honored to be one of them.