I write to you today because our country faces a tremendous need.
Right now–as you read this–there are 75,000 of our brave veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam dying every month. And sadly, many of them make the final passage ALONE during the holiday season.
The last three years I have worked to address this growing need with an organization called The Twilight Brigade. As a 501(c)(3), The Twilight Brigade recruits and trains volunteers to be in VAs and hospices around the country. In a nutshell, our mission is to put compassion in action to ensure no one dies alone. Twilight Brigaders (as we are called) find ourselves at the front lines of this urgent need in end of life care.
It has been my great honor to be at the bedside of 61 veterans during their final weeks, days and hours. Some I knew for a few months and some for a few days. But all of them impacted and touched my life in special ways. I am proud to say this work has put into action my education from Notre Dame and transformed my life into one of service, purpose and compassionate presence. I still have a long ways to go, but because of this work and many of you, I’m off to a good start.
This email is to say thank you...Your love, inspiration, support and guidance as parents, family, friends, professors and priests have made it possible for me to pursue this unique vocation. I am grateful and appreciate all of you. Thank you so very much.
My motive is this. I need you to send (enter Dr. Evil voice here) 100 million dollars to The Twilight Brigade. If you don’t have the hundred million handy I will let you off the hook this year, but please, take a few moments and read what’s in store for 2013. It’s going to be a big year—and I know there is much we can do together to improve end of life care, both near and far.
Denver Twilight Brigade Training
The Twilight Brigade recently launched a national end of year fundraising campaign to raise $40,000 to train and recruit 500 new volunteers across the country. As part of this campaign, I’m helping them raise $6,500 that will go directly to put on hospice trainings in Denver this upcoming year. The money goes to pay for nationally certified hospice trainers, travel expenses, staff and supplies for the training. We anticipate these trainings will yield 75-125 new volunteers for hospices in the Denver, Boulder and Wyoming areas. I invite you to learn more about becoming a Twilight Brigader or contact me if you would like to be on the list to receive updates. If you are interested in supporting us financially – either as an individual donor or corporate sponsor – please respond to this email, call my mobile (303-225-5776) or see the donation information in the right hand column above.
Remember, your gift is tax deductible. And you can trust that I will make sure your donation goes to the Denver training so that we can get more volunteers in the VA and local hospices.
Wadsworth Chapel Painting
I have been on a mission for several years to paint the historic Wadsworth Chapel at the West Los Angeles VA. To make a long bureaucratic story short, we’ve made progress but there are still some obstacles in our way to restoring glory, honor and spirituality on the West Los Angeles VA campus. Our next step is to set up a non-profit to receive allocated funds to paint the chapel. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about this project and/or spearhead setting up this non-profit, please drop me a line.
Starting a Catholic Hospice
I was recently introduced to a team of healthcare and medical professionals with a vision for an innovative hospice in Denver. This hospice will be unique in that it will practice a Catholic standard of care. As with all great things, this can not be done alone. If you would like to be involved at the ground level of this ambitious endeavor of faith, service and compassion then let me know and I’ll get you connected to the Catholic Hospice team.
Writing a Book
Given my unique experiences at the West Los Angeles VA, I’ve been encouraged by a number of folks to write a book. I’m happy to report a plot is in motion for this literary potion. My plan is to write something about what dying teaches us about living. When you go to sleep tonight, please say a lil’ prayer that the Holy Spirit intervenes (more than usual) so that I may write something that truly empowers people to live more joyous, meaningful lives by easing their fear of death. Amen.
Starting a New Company
Last but not least, I am an entrepreneur and conscious capitalist at heart. I am starting a new company in 2013 with a mission to create massive social change. This company will mobilize everything I’ve learned about Catholic Social Teaching and everything I’ve done as an entrepreneur and investor. I’m calling it Miracle Ventures…because that is what we’re going to do.
Please remember the dying veteran (and their care giver) this holiday season. They are alone in their beds and need someone to be with them as they make life’s final voyage. Together, we can make sure no veteran, no Catholic and no one of any race, color or creed…. dies alone.
With mission and purpose,
PS: If the world ends later this week, I’ll be riding the biggest seven headed beast shortly after the solar flares subside. Reserved seating is for only for those who make a Twilight Brigade donation via PayPal. Just sayin,’ you gotta pay to play for the really good entertainment, even in the hereafter.
Be blessed, everyone. Here’s to grabbing life by the horns… and the heavens!
Emailed to family, friends and supporters on 12/16/12