SEALs Swim for Charity
On August 8th of this year, a team of 72 U.S. Navy SEALs, several veterans, and military supporters from all over the United States came together for the second year in a row to swim across the Hudson River to raise funds for the GI Go Fund organization. Although the current total raised this year has yet to be released, all those involved sought to duplicate or exceed the $200,000 that was raised with last year’s event.
With security and assistance from NYPD, FDNY, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Authority, and the New York district U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, “this is the only legally sanctioned swim across the Hudson River and one of the first events in the New York/New Jersey area since the COVID 19 outbreak began.”
The participants’ route took them by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where they stopped to perform 100 push ups to represent America’s liberties and 22 pull ups to recognize the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day. The event ended in lower Manhattan in honor of the victims of 9/11. One former Navy SEAL said of the event, “It’s a huge honor to be here with my friends and brothers and just doing it for an amazing cause – it’s bigger than us.”
GI Go Fund is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2006 in memory of Lt. Seth Dvorin who was killed while serving in Iraq. Its mission is to “assist veterans, active-duty personnel, their family members, veteran supporters, and all members of the military community with finding employment, connecting their benefits, and accessing housing opportunities.”
Since its inception, the organization has helped tens of thousands of veterans with such things as homelessness, legal assistance, financial aid, and developing small businesses. They are continuing to create innovative programs in a number of other areas with help from big name companies like Verizon, Panasonic, Prudential, BCB Bank, and many more.
The funds raised in this year’s Navy SEAL Swim and Run had three main efforts:
- COVID 19 Pandemic: Alongside doctors and nurses, brave military personnel, veterans called back to service, and first responders have been serving as well. While they have been supporting a number of operations (like setting up field hospitals, serving in extended duties, delivering food and supplies to those in need, and much more), they have also been directly affected by the coronavirus. Funds will go to assist those who lost their lives to the virus and their family members.
- Ending veteran homelessness: With over 67,000 homeless veterans across the United States, and over 1200 in New York/New Jersey alone, in the coming months even more are expected to face the same devastating circumstances due to the Pandemic. GI Go Fund aims to support those veterans during these difficult times.
- Job training and entrepreneurial support: In conjunction with GI Go Fund’s Incubator – the first and only New Jersey veteran small-business entrepreneur space – funds will go to support the incredible space and state-of-the-art technology located there. Ensuring monetary support of the Veteran Incubator allows the organization to continue providing services and materials for those seeking employment in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Of the event, one GI Go Fund coordinator said, “I just want to say that the Navy SEAL swim, I believe, is one of the most epic events that this area has seen… and that’s saying a lot.”
If you’re interested in making a contribution to the cause, there is a “Make a Donation” link on GI Go Fund’s site.
- A Meaningful Step Toward Veteran Suicide Prevention
- VA Aid for Homeless During COVID-19
- COVID-19’s Impact on Military Retirees’ Compensation
- POW/MIA Recognition Day and the Life of an American Hero, Fred Jossi
- Data Breach at the VA: What We Know