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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Legacies Alive

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, 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

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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