WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2016 class of Dole Caregiver Fellows. This fellowship provides those caring for wounded, ill and injured services members and veterans the opportunity to advise national leaders through the foundation’s network of public, private and nonprofit organizations. Dole Caregiver Fellows also serve as spokespeople for their peers, elevating the nation’s awareness of the contributions and struggles of the 5.5 million Americans caring for someone who has served.
Those wishing to apply for the Dole Caregiver Fellowship can find a link to the application on the Foundation’s homepage, ElizabethDoleFoundation.org. The application deadline is Oct. 1, 2015.
Earlier this year, members of the 2015 fellows class stood on stage with First Lady Michelle Obama and VA Secretary Robert McDonald at the foundation’s Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit to share how caring for a wounded warrior has impacted their lives. They carried their message to Capitol Hill during nearly 150 meetings with members of Congress. In February, fellows attended a convening of more than 100 leaders in the areas of care-giving, veterans’ issues and volunteering to give their perspective on how the nation could provide better support to military caregivers. And in their home states, the fellows served as ambassadors and organizers, developing connections among caregivers and educating local associations, community groups and businesses.
Successful applicants for the 2016 class will raise awareness of caregiver issues as part of the Hidden Heroes Campaign which the foundation will launch later this year, with Tom Hanks serving as campaign chair. Together with the 2015 fellows, they will represent every state and Puerto Rico, and continue working with local and national leaders on the most urgent challenges they face as caregivers.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole established the foundation in 2012 to strengthen the services afforded to military and veteran caregivers through innovation, evidence-based research and collaboration. A 2014 RAND report commissioned by the Foundation found that these caregivers were in desperate need of stronger support. Caring for those who have served was found to take steep personal, financial, emotional and physical tolls.
All military and veteran caregivers are also invited to join the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes: Caregiver Community, which is a free, online community of caregivers that does not require an application. Members of the community receive regular updates on resources and additional opportunities for military and veteran caregivers. For more information, please email [email protected] or visit elizabethdolefoundation.org.
The mission of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is to uplift American military and veteran caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them through innovation, evidence-based research, and collaboration. Read more about the Foundation headquartered in Washington, DC at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org.