In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Newman’s Own Foundation is awarding $1.5 million in grants to 29 organizations – including eight in Connecticut - that provide services to military men, women, veterans, and their families. Based in Westport, Newman’s Own Foundation’s awards will benefit more Connecticut nonprofit organizations than in any other state; more than one-quarter of the total number of organizations slated to receive funds. Paul Newman, the late actor and philanthropist, established Newman’s Own Foundation in 2005 to carry on his philanthropic legacy after he started Newman’s Own, the food company, in 1982 with all profits going to charity. Less well known is that Newman was a World War II veteran. According to the organization’s website, he enlisted in the United States Navy after high school, serving in the Pacific during World War II.
“One particular experience provided the core of his belief about luck and humility. In Saipan, the pilot of his crew became sick, grounding their bomber. The rest of Paul’s squadron was ordered to deploy aboard the USS Bunker Hill and days later were killed by kamikaze aircraft. It was simply luck that Paul had not been aboard. He attributed much of his success in life to luck, and what followed was a commitment to give back to those who were perhaps not so lucky,” the website explains.
The organizations receiving the grants provide a wide variety of support to veterans, including physical/mental rehabilitation, career development, entrepreneurship, education, and housing. There are also organizations that focus on female veterans. The organizations and services are located across the country.
The Connecticut organizations are Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. (Bridgeport), Columbus House (New Haven), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (Hartford), Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (West Haven), Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. (Bloomfield), Help Our Military Heroes, Inc. (Easton), Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. (Noank), and Workplace, Inc. (Bridgeport).
“Our men and women in uniform make great sacrifices in their own lives to protect the unique freedom, privileges, and opportunities we enjoy as Americans. It is not so much a responsibility to support them, but more a privilege to express our gratitude for their service,” said Robert Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation, who served in Vietnam as an Army officer. “We’re proud to fund these organizations that provide services for military personnel, veterans, and their families.”
Military nonprofit organizations have been supported for over 20 years, with a total of $12 million donated since 2010, alone. In addition to the Foundation grants, Newman’s Own, Inc. has supported military service charities through the Newman’s Own Awards for 16 years, in partnership with Fisher House Foundation and Military Times.
Since the Foundation was founded, more than $280 million has been donated to charitable organizations around the world. The grants reached across international borders and countless organizations that addressed needs such as serious illness, hunger, homelessness, disaster relief, environmental issues, and education. Today the Foundation has four primary focus areas: Philanthropy, Children with Life Limiting Conditions, Empowerment, and Nutrition. More information is available at: http://newmansownfoundation.org/military