Iraqi war veteran Sam Redfern founded the United States of Hope (USOH) just six short years ago. Upon his return home from combat and witnessing firsthand the devastation of war-especially among families and children-he had a strong desire to bring hope to the world. Today, the Missoula, MT, nonprofit organization has multiple programs and services aimed at helping those impacted by war, including several initiatives that reach out to children affected by conflict. One such program is called Letters of Love. This program organizes groups of U.S. students and community members to write letters to orphans living in USOH supported orphanages in Nairobi, Kenya and Mosul, Iraq, for instance. The letters, once translated to the orphans' native languages, are sent along with books, toys and care supplies. USOH has also done Letters of Love projects in Sudan, Haiti, Afghanistan and the Philippines.
As a veteran's support organization, USOH plays an important role in many community activities, such as the annual Missoula County Veteran's Day ceremony and several other ceremonies held throughout the community each Memorial Day. USOH believes in coming alongside its veterans to offer the support and encouragement they and their families deserve.
USOH was the recipient of a one by oner from promotional products retailer 4imprintr. The grant was received just in time for USOH to purchase a tablecloth that was used at Missoula's Memorial Day homecoming heroes' barbeque. USOH has since used the table covering, as well as pins imprinted with the USOH name and logo, at several volunteer fairs. "The tablecloth is beautiful . very eye catching," said USOH funding development officer Patti Allen. "We recruited several volunteers at the last event." One recruit even filmed a documentary about USOH as part of her college journalism project.