SAN DIEGO, CA (May 31, 2016) Soldiers Who Salsa (SWS) today announced a $10,000 grant award from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) that will be used to fund our current nationwide programs as well as secure the launch of an additional 4 programs in 2016. These planned locations include Coatesville, PA; Raleigh, NC; Fayetteville, NC; and one in the Los Angeles area.
SWS dance programs transform the lives of veterans recovering from limb loss, post-traumatic stress/post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS/PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or military sexual trauma (MST), and would not be possible without the opportunity of grants and partnerships like this one with the DVNF. Salsa dancing is a social activity, and therefore has been invaluable to patients with PTS/PTSD and victims of MST. Common symptoms of PTS/PTSD and MST include an aversion to close contact, avoidance of new activities and new surroundings, and reluctance to meet new people. Patients with TBI and limb loss often need to work on coordination and balance, and patients with TBI also benefit from the memory recall and pattern development of dance. Our classes provide a safe place for patients to not only learn a new activity, but also work through these invisible and visible injuries.
“We could not be more grateful for this financial support from the Foundation,” said SWS Executive Director Jennifer Ables. “The DVNF is such a respected organization in the realm of veterans services, it is truly an honor to partner with them in furthering both their mission and ours.”
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded - physically or psychologically - after defending our safety and freedom. It achieves this mission by:
- Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of the DVNF
- Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources
- Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
- Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.
Since its founding in 2010, Soldiers Who Salsa has made it its mission to transform the lives of active duty and veteran service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through a unique program incorporating therapeutic and social dancing with a variety of music and professional instruction. Classes are open to all military personnel and their families, and are provided at no cost to patients thanks to the generosity of donors. What started as a single class, has grown to 14 weekly classes nationwide, serving active duty military personnel and veterans from age 18 to 81.