Ocean City, New Jersey
On August 6, 2011, a helicopter carrying 30 service members and one service K9 was shot down in Afghanistan. It was the largest loss of life in the Afghan-Iraqi conflict. When that happened, people came together to support the 30 families affected. A fundraising event called WOD (Workout of the Day) was held at over 430 gyms. More than 10,000 people participated, raising $300,000 in four weeks. It was such a success that the organizers decided to create 31Heroes, a nonprofit that takes care of families who’ve lost their loved ones in conflict. And with promotional beachballs, 31Heroes can thank people who register for a popular annual fundraiser. Caring for families of fallen heroesBlue and white beach ball with a logo. 31Heroes assists athletes and event organizers with tools and resources to raise money and awareness for families of fallen soldiers. 31Heroes also helps soldiers and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. To distribute funds to people they help, 31Heroes provides grants. Travel grants are aimed at assisting with travel costs for family members traveling to memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, anniversary events, events surrounding the loss of the 31 service members, or child-focused travel. Lifestyle grants provide funds for things like gym memberships, nutrition aid and mental health services. Emergency grants are aimed at assisting with unforeseen events that cause financial hardship, like roofing issues and hot water heater replacements. 31Heroes is also launching a program to help people pick up service dogs and purchase mobility equipment. The 31Heroes WOD continues to be hosted around the world every year. 31Heroes hosts other fundraisers, too, such as the Memorial Beach Challenge. Powering up the challenge A smashing success every year, the Memorial Beach Challenge is a Navy Seal-approved, two-mile obstacle course on the shoreline of Ocean City, New Jersey. Created and overseen by a husband-wife team, Amie and Mike Vaules, the challenge also includes a kids’ fun run, so parents and kids can have a blast supporting military families. This year, 31Heroes wanted an incentive to encourage people to register their kids for the kids’ fun run. Thanks to a 4imprint one by one® grant, 31Heroes was able to give promotional beachballs to the first 300 people to register. “Our soldiers fight for us to remain free. Honoring their legacy and caring for their families is one way we can give back to those who have given so much to our great nation. We’re so pleased 4imprint is helping us make the Memorial Beach Challenge even more fun with these beachballs,” Jill Arnone, Executive Director of 31Heroes, said.