Last year, as part of our commitment to helping returning veterans make the transition to life at home, Bank of America continued the “Express Your Thanks” campaign, with the goal of donating up to $1 million to support military service members and veterans. During the campaign, people were able to share gestures of gratitude — photos, messages, Tweets — that each resulted in a $1 donation from the bank. The campaign ran from Memorial Day to Veterans Day, and was promoted in banking centers and through the Bank of America’s partnerships with NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, and various MLB and NFL teams.
By the end of this initial campaign, we connected over one million people to express thanks to our troops, an overwhelming amount of participation that exceeded expectations. As a result, we donated over $1 million to support veterans’ and family reintegration programs, including mental health (PTSD research and treatment) and employment programs run by Wounded Warrior Project® and Welcome Back Veterans. Based on these promising results, we are pleased to announce that the “Express Your Thanks” campaign will run again in 2014, and we are looking forward to working closely with our partners and encouraging a broader participation and engagement with this program.
Wounded Warrior Project® raises awareness of the needs of injured service members, and provides peer mentorship and job skills and training through economic empowerment programs, part of 18 programs and services that address veterans’ holistic needs. Welcome Back Veterans, created in 2008 in partnership with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and MLB, provides ongoing treatment to veterans for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and also funds research for PTSD.
"With hundreds of thousands of service men and women leaving active duty this year alone, raising awareness of the unique challenges they face as they integrate back into the workforce is more important than ever," said Jeff Cathey, senior military affairs executive at Bank of America. "Through our 'Express Your Thanks' campaign, we helped foster a real connection between the public and our military in a meaningful way, while supporting programs like WWP and Welcome Back Veterans, which help these heroes make this transition back to civilian life."
Jonathan Sullivan, executive vice president of development for WWP, said: “The ‘Express Your Thanks’ campaign was so important because it provided the platform for Americans to tell the troops they care, that they respect the service that they gave, and will continue to be there for them.”
“Thousands of service men and women are returning from the battlefield, and efforts like ‘Express Your Thanks’ are a perfect example of how we can support their return while recognizing the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Donald Cooke, senior vice president of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.