NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PEOPLE, the leading weekly celebrity and entertainment magazine in the U.S., announces its 2013 charity initiative, PEOPLE First: Help America’s Veterans. This year, PEOPLE is partnering with four nonprofit organizations – HirePatriots, Brides Across America, Welcome Back Veterans, and Operation FINALLY HOME – to provide assistance to men and women who served in the military.
PEOPLE First: Help America’s Veterans kicks off in the April 1, 2013 issue of PEOPLE (on newsstands Friday, March 22) with a feature story about HirePatriots, a back-to-work charity for veterans. HirePatriots.com is an online job board where businesses and residents can post full-time positions or one-day jobs anywhere nationwide. Mark and Tori Baird of Big Bear, California launched HirePatriots in February 2005 to match retired or active-duty military with local residents who needed yards mowed, plumbing fixed or homes painted. “Within a few months we were getting 10,000 visitors a week,” Mark, 62, a retired Christian pastor, tells PEOPLE. The couple is currently working to create a national jobs network. “We’re on a mission,” he says. “The most therapeutic thing for a guy who’s been in combat is work. It gives them purpose and direction…Helping these service members is the electricity that makes our engines run.”
“PEOPLE is thrilled to have chosen charity partners in 2013 that give back to the men and women who have served in the military,” says PEOPLE Managing Editor Larry Hackett. “With the jobless rate among young post-9/11veterans five points higher than the national average, the need for organizations like HirePatriots is clear.”
PEOPLE First: Help America’s Veterans has committed to highlighting HirePatriots and the following programs for America’s veterans in multiple editorial stories in PEOPLE throughout 2013.
- Brides Across America (bridesacrossamerica.com) Heidi Janson's charity in Georgetown, Mass., which has given away thousands of new, designer-sample and gently-used bridal dresses to military brides.
- Welcome Back Veterans (welcomebackveterans.org) Instituted in 2008, Welcome Back Veterans is a Major League Baseball Charities initiative that was designed to support returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their family members as they transition to civilian life, with an emphasis on helping those afflicted with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Operation FINALLY HOME (operationfinallyhome.org) Texas homebuilder Dan Wallrath's initiative, which has built more than 30 custom-designed mortgage free homes for wounded and disabled veterans and the widows of the fallen in an effort to get their lives back on track to become productive members of their communities.
How to Help HirePatriots:
1. Hire a veteran: Businesses and individuals can post full-time positions or one-day jobs.
2. Donate: Give $25 to help create a national jobs network and fund transitional training.
3. Get involved: Start a HirePatriots chapter in your area.
Go to HirePatriots.com and follow the PEOPLE First buttons.
PEOPLE First is an ongoing annual charitable strategy and initiative focusing PEOPLE’s vast resources, facilitating strategic partnerships, financial contributions, and public relations expertise on a single cause or issue every year. Historically, PEOPLE has demonstrated its impact on popular culture and created positive social change with reader response to specific issues, causes and charities, year after year. Last year’s PEOPLE First initiative, Help Feed a Child, helped raise more than $1 million for the Louisville, Ky.-based nonprofit organization Blessings in a Backpack (blessingsinabackpack.org), which provides backpacks full of food to hungry schoolchildren every Friday to help get them through the weekend.
PEOPLE revolutionized personality journalism in 1974; today it’s the world’s most successful and popular magazine. Each week the PEOPLE brand brings more than 53 million consumers the latest news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth reporting on the most compelling people of our time. In addition to unparalleled access to the entertainment community, the stories of real-life “Heroes Among Us” remain an essential component of PEOPLE’s editorial approach. PEOPLE.com is the premier web destination for celebrity news, photos, style and entertainment coverage. With reporters across the globe, PEOPLE is headquartered in New York City. For more information visit www.PEOPLE.com.