A note from our Executive Director
As Memorial Day approaches, I reflect on the inspiration behind CreatiVets. On December 14th, 2006 I was the lead Vehicle Commander doing route clearance in Fallujah, Iraq. Luke Yepsen was my gunner and one of only three other marines in my truck that day. His life was take by a sniper as we stopped for a possible explosive device on the road.
It wasn’t the brain injury from four separate IED blasts, while in Iraq, that caused my severe depression and anxieties. It was the fact that I watched my good friend be taken away from me, while he was under my command. I had a need to share Luke with the world when I came home, to let everyone know that Luke lived, and that he was a great human who deserved to be lifted up. My only problem was that my anxieties and depression were so bad I couldn’t talk to strangers. I had to do my speech class assignments one-on-one with my teacher because I would physically get sick and shut down when I had to speak in front of people or be the center of attention.
The discovery of art and music is what saved my life, and it is what gives Luke new life. The need to tell Luke’s story led to the creation of CreatiVets, which I co-founded with Linda Tarrson. Today, CreatiVets has helped 179 veterans tell their unique stories through creative expression in art and music. Their music and art has gone on to be heard and seen by more than 1 million people. This work resonates with the veterans drawn to our programs, because these songs and works of art let them know that they are not alone.
Thank you, for all you have done, for all that you do, for supporting CreatiVets, and for helping the veterans we serve as we all move forward.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
|Ways To Support: As we approach the end of our fiscal year and CreatiVets maps out our next year, I encourage you to continue helping us change the lives of more veterans than ever by making a donation. Memorial Day is about remembering, but it’s not about looking back. It’s about looking forward and about taking all we have learned and loved and making a difference. Below are three easy ways to “give small” while making a huge impact on veterans lives.|
– Round up your change each month – CreatiVets has partnered with the RoundUp app to allow you to round up the spare change from your monthly transactions. Check out RoundUp and select CreatiVets to start giving your spare change.
– Employee giving – A bunch of companies will now allow workers to set aside small portions of their paycheck each month to give to nonprofits.
– Become a monthly recurring donor – When donating on our website you can choose to have your donation be a recurring donation. This helps CreatiVets prepare and forecast for the expansion of our programs.