Working Warrior Foundation
"Empowering Veterans to Succeed While Helping Businesses Thrive". This is the motto of Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization Working Warrior Foundation. Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to work with this foundation and make a video that told their story and goals, and also capture their Veterans Feeding Veterans luncheon. Mark Simon, the founder of this great organization, actually came up with the idea for this while working on a college project where he had to come up with a hypothetical nonprofit organization and create a business plan. His research ended up really opening his eyes to the issues that veterans face when they return home, specifically veterans in Western Pennsylvania. He learned that 1 out of every 4 veterans self-identifies as being food-insecure. Mark thinks this number is probably even higher in reality because some veterans might have to much pride to self-identify as so. It wasn’t too long after that that Mark decided to make it more than a school project and officially found the Working Warrior Foundation.
The Veterans Feeding Veterans luncheon is just one of many programs that the Working Warrior Foundation hosts. Another program they run is called the Warrior Food Pantry. Just as the name suggests, this is essentially a pantry for veterans to stop by and pick up some food. Working Warrior Foundation’s primary goal at the moment is to save up enough money to buy a food truck in order to take their Warrior Pantry mobile and extend their reach to veterans who may not be able to make it out to where WWF is located. Another event is the annual Veteran Memorial Golf Invitational. This is a good time for veterans and their families to hang out in a fun environment, get some good golfing in, and listen to some keynote speakers tell their stories. The next golf invitational is actually coming up in mid September, and I know that Mark has already begun planning that and is excited for it.
Being able to capture Mark’s story and send it out to hundreds of people who had not known about this organization previously was special for me. I, myself, had never heard of this organization, and seeing the passion Mark and the other two lead volunteers, Erica and Cassie, put into this was inspiring. All throughout their interviews they were smiling and genuinely excited when their favorite event was brought up, or when they were talking about their favorite memory. Bad news is brought up constantly on TV and on social media, so it was nice to be able to add a little positivity to the world and help good people in the process of it all. It was after completing this video that I decided I wanted to try using my videography skills for more than just showing off vacations in a cool, creative way. I want to be able to provide a positive experience to people, whether that means being a wedding videographer and giving the couple something they cherish forever, being a nonprofit videographer and helping organizations in need reach their goals, or something I have yet to discover. Whatever it is, impacting someone’s life in a positive way is one of the best things you can do, and I’m hoping videography allows me to continue doing so.
I tried keeping this one short for you. Thanks for reading – stay tuned for more to come!