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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Veteran's PATH

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Veteran’s PATH enables returning veterans to rediscover meaning, purpose, and joy in their lives through mindfulness, meditation, and a safe community.

Target demographics: returning veterans that have served since 1990

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300 veterans

Geographic areas served: California, Virginia, and Colorado with National aspirations

Programs: providing programs that combine outdoor adventure, mindfulness & meditation skills, and strong, supportive veteran communities.

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Transitioning out of the military and into civilian life is a difficult task by itself, it’s even harder for those who don’t chose the typical 9-5 route afterwards.Building my own businesses has been quite the challenge, even more so now that I’m having to cram in helping my kids through school everyday, needless to say, with everything going on, stuff slips through the cracks.One thing that I knew I needed to be able to do was work on mindfulness in order to be able to operate effectively throughout my crazy days.Having access to a program such as the M.M.A.P. has been a HUGE help! The guided practices have been extremely beneficial, and I feel that over the duration of the course I’ve acquired some of the knowledge I need to really begin the learning process.I would highly recommend this program for anyone who feels like their brain gets bogged down data after day.

MJ T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just thrilled to see this initiative growing in the spirit of empowering our nation's Vets in such a super positive way.
Being a Vet I understand the pitfalls of reintegration into civilian life, and it's not always simple.
Thank you for this great program to enable Vets to have a go to resource.
Coach M J Tolan
Proud US Army Vet- Vietnam Era

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH is a phenomenal avenue that teaches veterans and active duty personnel the tools and practices to be more mindful and present in every day life. After participating in their Military Mindfulness Action Practices (MMAP) Training As an active duty member, I've been able to use the tools and mindfulness practices I learned and apply them to my life, family, and job. It's allowed me to become a better leader, father, and person. As an active duty member of 23 years, it's comforting to see that the stigma of "sucking it up" and "suffering in silence" is being broken with the help of organizations like this.

Not only are their programs an excellent resource, but they're Podcasts are also a great on the go tool where everyday athletes, veterans, and subject matter experts share their perspectives, best practices, and experiences on how mindfulness and meditation has helped them in their lives.

Highly recommend checking them out!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Team at Veteran's PATH is a reflection of the culture many of us are drawn to in the military. A culture of service, and teams. Prior to COVID I heard about this program while listening in on a PODCAST. I was impressed by the message and the effort being taken to help veterans in need. Months later as we approached Memorial Day weekend, I reflected on the five veterans who I have worked with who have taken their own lives. All did it after they left service, my belief is they lost connection with their teams, but also lost a way to engage the demons they faced. While there is no silver bullet, I firmly believe Veteran's PATH offers some valuable tools and a culture to help against this incredible challenge. As evidence of my belief I brought them into my most sacred professional circle and had Jon Macaskill come speak to my 850 person team. The response was incredibly well received by my team and I know I personally learned some things as well. Its not the message you would expect to hear from a retired Navy SEAL, but that is precisely why it is such a powerful message. I have since incorporated Mindfulness practices in my life and I hope to continue to be an ally with Jon and his team as they help veterans find a better path.

1 Ryan P.7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cant thank Veterans Path enough! The skills my family and I have learned through their MMAP and Mindful littles course have been a blessing to my myseld and our daughter. I've been a chaplain for 10 years, and the skills being presented are tools that every veteran and their family can benefit from to enhance their well-being, their peace, and to build connections with their family, community, and spiritual life. I didn't realize it at the time but I sure needed the "tune up". Thank you Veterans Path

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege and the honor of working with Veteran's PATH and their remarkable team for the past 6 months. A tragedy in this incredible country is the disconnect between our civilian and military communities and the subsequent lack of awareness around the challenges that veterans face. Many may be surprised to know that a veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes.

After serving our country, the men and women that make up the Veteran's PATH team, who have already made tremendous sacrifices in their life in order to serve, are continuing to serve their veteran brothers and sisters by helping them find Peace, Acceptance, Transformation, and Honor through mindfulness and meditation practices and a supportive community. I am not sure if I could think of a nobler cause.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with the VP team on the Heroes For Heroes initiative, giving back to the caregiver community while supporting the Veteran's PATH team. I am looking forward to providing whatever support I can to help make Veteran's PATH as successful as possible.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH does an amazing job of supporting veterans and military (and their families) in dealing with unresolved mental heath needs that government entities cannot seem to keep up with. Not only do they fill a significant gap, but I am THOROUGHLY impressed with the innovative ways in which they serve the community. In the year I've been acquainted with the organization, they have partnered to provide equine therapy, an online mindfulness and meditation community and course, and have started a podcast (with a robust catalog of episodes) to demystify and destigmatize mindfulness and meditation. The podcast is especially powerful in that it features athletes, elite military, other high performers, and relatable guests talking about concepts that are often considered esoteric. The online course provided introduction and context to meditation and mindfulness, as well as practical tools to prevent anxiety and stress from consuming us. I'm truly glad I found this organization, and cannot wait to see what they come up with next!

1 Janell H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had a few different interactions with Veteran's PATH this year. I heard Jon's interview on another podcast, which then made me aware of the Veteran's PATH podcast. In the summer, I participated in one of the eMindful cohorts of 10 mindfulness sessions (30 minute classes held twice weekly for 5 weeks). I highly recommend Veteran's PATH for those who wish to continue to learn and improve mental wellness. Last year, I had my own personal struggles with mental health and Veteran's PATH provides resources available virtually for me to continue to grow wherever I am and ensure that the intense assistance I received last year is a foundation for the future and not just a one-time intervention.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Truly a fantastic organization with great mission and results for our veterans! Highly recommend! Anna Mannerfelt, CEO Wired Mustang Inc

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Veterans PATH and Jon Macaskill have it’s finger on the pulse of what the veteran needs. The skill of learning mindfulness and meditation is an essential part of staying mentally and physically healthy in life. I highly recommend this non profit as a key support network for veterans of all ages and demographics.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

The folks at Veteran Path are doing a great job. In all honesty, I’m just not sure meditation is for me, at least not though the app. I’m certain it has served others well. Enjoy listening to Jon’s podcasts. I think if there were more in-person clinics that this would help elevate the authenticity of the experience. I know those things cost more money, but there a many of us who would benefit from mindfulness without technology or a screen right smack in the middle of the experience. The talent is there, and once COVID mitigation factors are in place (as well as adequate funding), I think taking Veterans Path on an actual path (not virtual) there will be a cataclysmic shift and rapid decline of stress related fatigue and crises.

1 Shanique P.

Client Served

Rating: 3

When I started coming to Veterans PATH I was suffering from pretty severe anxiety and felt my voice had been stolen from me by PTSD.

After going to Tassajara and connecting with so many souls suffering as I had been, I was more willing to put in the work to find my voice again. I found myself at one day events and other retreats with Veterans PATH and later a Veteran Leader committed to helping other veterans on their path to healing.

Veterans PATH has taught me the value I have after many years of feeling as if I had been chewed up and spit out by the military.

1 John Wakefield H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's rare to find an organization that truly cares -- and for the right reasons! Incredibly knowledgeable, honest, and supportive; everything you could possibly want in a non-profit like Veteran's PATH.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a beautiful, specialized nonprofit changing lives. My experiences with them have been the most transformative I've had in my adult life. I cannot thank them enough.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

The anchor program has absolutely been pivotal in my life. I cannot thank Veteran's PATH enough for its impact.

1 Angela C-Y

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH has been an integral part of my healing. As a veteran with many deployments in combat zones, it has been difficult to integrate these war experiences with my life here at home. The programs provided by Veteran's PATH bring together resources and community to give me the support I need. It's truly transformative.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am SO incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a woman in this year's Anchor Program (2018).
Veteran's PATH gave me useful tools for self-care and healing; meditation (both walking and sitting), art therapy, nature experiences and sensory awareness activities. Participating with other Veteran Females was incredible because I felt completely understood like never before! I also enjoyed the platform of Schoology which was a way of organizing ourselves in between sessions, and our practices. Our private group on this platform could all talk to each other via a discussion board. It was another modality of connection and support.
I have an amazing network and community of wonderful women who I call sisters. I know we will be good support and friends forever. We have agreed to keep in touch via Social Media, planned activities and trips and Veteran's PATH One-Day events.
I am so incredibly grateful and would recommend this program to any veteran who needs support. I learned to cultivate peace, grace and self-compassion through The Anchor Program. What a priceless gift. Thank you for allowing me to participate.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Veterans Path's exceptional efforts to bring mindfulness and compassion to veterans in a supportive and caring setting offers respect and gratitude to a generation of vets who have not been as respected and supported as they deserve

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran’s Path has changed the way I live my live. Before Veteran’s Path I struggled greatly with PTSD and depression. I was angry all the time and unable to cope with stressful events. After Veteran’s Path (and now as a continuing member) I have learned a new way to cope – with breath and compassion for myself and for others. This program is unlike any other program I’ve been in. For one, the teachers are completely committed to every single veteran that joins the program. For second, there is a never-ending circle of support available to every person that comes to be a part of this program. My battle with PTSD is not over – but the resources and guidance and support provided by Veteran’s Path has made my path clearer and brighter and the load much lighter. I encourage anyone that cares about our veterans to donate to this non-profit, so they can expand their circle even wider.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Path has been pivotal in helping me find purpose after my 12 years in the military. If it was not for veterans Path, I would not have come to understand my PTSD or my anxiety. I have learned coping mechanisms and practices that I continue to use. My only complaint is that I have not gotten do do a Veterans Path event in so long because I truly miss it. Wonderful staff that facilitate veterans getting together. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to partake in Veterans Path.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've attended veterans path on two separate occasions. Chris and Lee were so patient and comforting. I truly enjoyed the calmness in the environment. This helped me with my anxiety and my PTSD symptoms. If I lived closer I would have attended a lot more events. But with a 1.5 hour commute, my only wish is that there was a veterans path closer to me.

1 R Warren L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have supported VP for several years, met a good number of vets in the VP programs and joined in one of their one day events. As a retired Air Force veteran, I am sure that VP has built unique programs that help veterans help themselves and build a vet community that they can count on as they rebuild their lives and engage with their family and friends.

1 Courtenay D. R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH is a positive and supportive community for veterans!

2 Maria W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's Path is such a great resource for Veterans. It's a nice way to meet new people, relax, and learn positive coping skills for the many emotional challenges that some of us may face. They are eager to ensure participation by helping to provide transportation to events along with hosting all events free of charge to veterans and one guest per veteran. I had so much fun doing activities I've never done like tandem cycling, kayaking, and meditating. Plan on attending another event soon!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Caring, compassion and community. This sums up (for me) where the greatness lies in this amazing organization. I am a Veteran and also a certified therapist so I originally went to see how I could participate and support my fellow veterans. Along the way I found self healing that I wasn't aware I needed. They helped me get back into my mindfulness practice and exposed me to more beneficial techniques. They are supportive and allow you to discover what you need from the program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to Veterans Path very sceptical of what meditation and mindfulness could actually do for me. I had been through some meditation with counselors in the past and just thought "well maybe I'm just not the right person for that type of thing, it's only for hippies". I work in the health and fitness industry and recently have been exploring more of a wellness approach to life and in working with my demons. I served two combat tours as an infantry machinegunner in the Marine Corps and suffer PTS and TBI along with other disabilities. I got to a point where I thought there's gotta be a better way than what I'm doing now!

I went to my first one day with quite a bit of anxiety and uncertainty. But I allowed myself to be open because of my interactions before with the vet leaders and facilitators that invited me. By the end of the event I felt that camaraderie I had lost when I left the corps. I had a warmth and energy I hadn't had in so long. Sincevthat first retreat I have been back to each event, learning and growing and developing a love for not only healing myself but also paying it forward to help veterans suffering like me. I can't necessarily say Veterans Path saved my life, but it most certainly is healing my soul!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The leadership at this organization has an astounding and evident care for the veterans served by their transformational work. This desire to serve and help those who fought for freedom is evident through their programs which are crafted using evidence-based techniques and built to help each person work through his/her unique journey to find a new PATH following service.

The organization is transparent whether with financials or sharing their vision. Veteran's PATH uses approaches which are not readily available and augment existing programs through other government and non-governmental agencies. Their desire for collaboration is based out of a genuine desire to stay true to their mission to serve more veterans. Their work has already produced successes, which are embodied in the spirit, heart, and life of renewed veterans.

This organization is a jewel, and as they expand their footprint, individual lives will not only be changed; but family and community and societal lives as well. I have enjoyed my experience with Veteran's PATH and would recommend this organization to veterans, donors, volunteers and anyone who has a need, a dollar or a heart.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first experience with Veterans Path was a 5-day retreat. I was not the happiest person when the retreat started. I was very angry and sad. With the emotions I had, I was still accepted by the leaders. The meditation, mindfulness exercises, and comraderie was what I needed at that moment. Each veterans path event I feel like I continue to grow and am aware of my emotions. This is a great organization. My life has changed because of it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's Path has been a transformational experience for me. The leaders, facilitators, and camaraderie have made each retreat I've attended quite memorable and practically life saving. It only took a one-day retreat for me to take this journey with Veteran's Path to another level- my first experience of transcendental meditation, mindfulness based training and sensory awareness with Veteran' Path has forever changed my perspective on living, breathing and being fully alive. The tools I've learned from this organization will forever guide me in my healing process and I will forever be grateful. I've learned to value myself, respect myself and take care of myself in ways that I never knew I can do. Veteran's Path helped me wake up, so to speak. And I hope this organization will continue to grow and spread the seeds of love, gratitude and the meaning of what it means to be here and be fully present in all that we do. Thank you, VP. With love, CJA

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran' PATH has helped me tremendously. I'm so glad that they have something for women veterans. By them teaching me meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing, I'm able to use these techniques practically everyday. I'm able to use the handouts and books they provide and even call and speak to staff when I need. And they keep in touch with you.

1 Matt118

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's Path has provided me with a community of veterans who are willing to walk through difficulty together. This has meant that when things were light and upbeat in my own life I had the opportunity to support others in my community, purpose. It has also meant that when I am low I have friends to call and visit to get out of my own head. I can't help but notice that I am learning a deeper type of friendship through this organization. Beyond this, Veteran's Path has nurtured me to be able to accept the difficult truths of my life and begin to adjust and care for my life in a way to make it both healthy and uniquely mine. This has been accomplished both through mindfulness techniques and having the opportunity to take the time out of a busy life to ask, what am I doing with this precious life? And, making real connections with those in my community because we actually share about the difficulties and triumphs in our lives.

These somewhat heavy ideas are balanced with hikes, Frisbee, water rafting, climbing, etc. that bring a light hearted togetherness and sense of comraderie that so many vets, including myself, long for after their service has ended. We remember how to laugh together.

I cannot say enough about the founders. They have never criticized or told me what I should be doing, but constantly point back to the part of me that understands goodness so that I can be my own guide. While busy, they have both always been available, even outside of events, to connect.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH has now become part of my live.
One out standing element that sets this organization apart from others is they are there for you and they continue to be there for you. Many organizations provide services once and that is the end of it. This is not the case with Veteran’s PATH, they encourage and welcome you to come and join them often.
The love and compassion these people have are tremendous.
I am extremely thankful for what Veteran’s PATH offers and for what they have brought into my life. I honestly look forward to each and every event I am able to attend. I come home feeling nourished and loved.
I am a women veteran that served over 11 years in the Army and Army National Guard, over 20 years ago.
I did not consider myself a veteran and never spoke of my experiences while in service much. I did not trust the VA and carried many scares; I was suffering in silence, as so many others have expressed it. This has been quite a long journey, thankfully one I do not have to walk alone any longer.
I appreciate and have tremendous gratitude for Veteran’s PATH and because of this organization I have a much brighter future.
SSG Army

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans Path has helped me to realize the power of a breath. The way in which they lead you through meditation is both gentle and concise. Mindfulness and sensory awareness has never felt more accessible to me and for that I'm truly thankful. The tools being provided have helped me through some turbulent times.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Veteran who served for 28 years on Active Duty at home and in numerous deployed locations. I’ve always been interested in the power of resiliency and mindfulness in our day to day lives in very purposeful, powerful service to our Nation. The gifts, skills and tools that Veteran’s PATH brings to us is transforming; the journey with them truly brings peace, acceptance, transformation and honor as we return into our communities. I want to see these gifts reach more and more Veterans.

2 Jamie116

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is very helpful and effective. Just in the short time I have had with Veterans Path, I am already learning things about mindfulness and meditation. The people that work in this organization are so nice and calming. You feel welcomed and accepted the second you walk in.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to the Veteran's Path when I think I was at my lowest point in my life. After serving the Air Force as a female cop I felt like my life had taken a huge toll in the wrong direction. I wouldn't look up from the ground much. I had a brick wall in front of all my emotions. The military taught me well to stuff them and not show the weakness that emotions are. But this was making it so I wasn't myself anymore. I pushed people away when I needed them most. It was the Veterans PATH that gave me the strength to brake down the walls. Face the challenges I was faced with everyday in a loving kindness way. The anger inside me began to lift. I started to feel again. Now that I have been fortunate enough to have been envolved in their programs for four years, I have grown so much. I know that I can be real and authentic. I am more in touch with my body and emotional self to handle all that life throws at me. I only see myself getting better everyday with the skills I have learned with Veteran's Path. I

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH has been a true blessing to my life. Before VP I was numb, walking around this world, merely existing. Now, I feel like I've regained my purpose and I'm living and creating the life that has been meant for me! I owe Chris and Lee a big debt for creating and puttting their heart and souls into this organization. My wish is to repay them with my service and life example of their teaching!

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

VP had been a truly life changing organization to be apart of. The programs and leadership have given me real world tools to help with navigating life as a civilian. Midfulness, meditation and other tools given have become a staple in my life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are certain things that come into one's life that immediately make a life changing impact. Veteran's Path instantly did that for me and I am very grateful. As a infantry veteran who has struggled with PTSD, survivors guilt, and alcoholism I moved myself to San Francisco to make a change and deepen my spiritual practice. Once here I embraced recovery and decided to connect with other veterans. When I found out about a retreat to Green Gulch Farm with Veteran's Path I signed up and felt it would be great for the soul. I wasn't wrong to say the least. Learning mindfulness/meditation techniques with Chris and Lee, and just being in their positive presence, has been one of the best experiences of my life. Sharing the experience with a great group of other veterans is invaluable. I'm learning how to slow down and look at myself and the world more honestly with less judgment. Meditating on a regular basis has increased both happiness and focus in my life. Getting trained to teach mindfulness to other vets in need has given me a renewed since of purpose and I look forward sharing what I learn. Veteran's Path is a game changer and I'm going to do my best to bring in as many vets as possible so they can reap the rewards as well.


Ricky Delgado
OEF Vet
Army Infantry

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans PATH has helped me with arguably the most important transition of my life. Helping me reestablish some semblance of peace in a world that only increases in chaos. Without VP and especially Chris/Lee I'm not sure if I ever would have found the ground that has always existed right underneath me. Forever greatful.

1 Lynn115

Client Served

Rating: 5

All of my experiences with Veteran's PATH have been overwhelmingly positive. Lee and Chris create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I feel comfortable to be myself and enjoy the camaraderie of other veterans. The tools of meditation and mindfulness that I've learned have helped me navigate difficult times in my life in a more positive way. In addition, we get to have fun together, like rock climbing or hiking during a one-day event, or white water rafting on the river trip.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Veterans often become skeptical after exploring organizations that claim to help us. Some veteran-oriented charities turn out to be schemes to financially exploit public sentiment without distributing much to veterans.
Others start with a promising premise but become egotistically entrenched, with clique-ishness & favoritism that often isolates veterans & causes disillusionment.
Then, there are the ones that show off a façade of caring for veterans, yet within their programs, away from public scrutiny, their personnel inflict dignity-robbing attitudes on participants. In my experience, Veterans PATH is better than those three categories of disappointing phenomena. Positive, quality of life changes are the result - again, in my personal experience, as well as numerous other veterans' experience.

1 Danny25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Whenever I went on a retreat, I'd get all nervous about being out with these strangers for three or more days and would want to leave before we hit the water river rafting.
Lee, one of the founders would insist that I stay and I did. I didn't regret it. I had met some good people on the three retreats I went to. I loved the sensory awareness practices which really gave me a chance to feel at peace.
I would recommend Veteran's Path to any veteran from the Gulf War Era or the OIF/OEF/OND era.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a female combat veteran, this organization has changed my life. Being a part of Veteran's Path and the programs they offer provides a new path of service in the world with compassion, transformation, and connection to a community of other veterans committed to peace and acceptance of ourselves and others. It's truly an honor to be a part of it!
--Vanessa Meade, PsyD, LCSW
U.S. Army/Gulf War Veteran

3 Matt108

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in a very dark place when I found Veteran's PATH. Multiple felony convictions, in rehab from drug and alcohol addiction. Very little hope for the future. Veteran's PATH has absolutely given me tools to have a great life and also a community of support that inspires me and gives me the opportunity to help other vets.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Veteran's PATH changed my life. I'm so grateful to be a part of this community.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently attenfed a 3 day retreat for women in California.
I came away with lifelong friends, healing and respect for this org.

1 James30

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have personally engaged in a Veteran's PATH program. As a Marine veteran, I experienced great facilitators, a supportive community, and a strong program flow that helped me in discovering the underlying problems I have been struggling with as a veteran. I gained insight, but also learned skills that I needed to help me process and work through a lot of issues I have been carrying for years.