Dear Friends and Supporters,
2021 has brought us another year of uncertainty, but it also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Raven Drum Foundation. We have been reflecting on our incredible community of donors and believers that has allowed us to transform ourselves and help others for so many years. None of the work we do would have been possible without your vital support.
Our philosophical approach, when creating the organization, was born from the idea that unconditional love and educational support is the most powerful healer. And that each of us is responsible for our own health and soul growth through dark and challenging times.
THE EARLY YEARS
We started our journey seeking to bring mindful practices and healing to those who needed additional tools and support to guide them to a better place. Through healing arts, drumming events, and collaborative partnerships, we worked in the trenches with people in the direst of circumstances. Raven Drum Foundation programs served a variety of populations such as teens facing cancer and incarceration, domestic-abuse victims, kids with special needs, and many others who had lived through crises and were at risk on a daily basis.
“When you are motivated to transcend suffering, to get out of a difficult situation,
and to help others do the same, you become a powerful source of energy
that helps you do what you want to do to transform yourself and to help other people.”
~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
Through it all, we maintained our belief in the power of community as a potent force for positive change. We are thankful for each person who joined us, donating their time, treasure, or talent to help others. And we have sincere gratitude for each person who stepped forward, participated with us, and took the leap of faith needed to find their path forward.
SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED
In 2006, while visiting Walter Reed Medical Center, Rick forged a special bond with the wounded Veterans he met. In them he saw himself, recognizing his own struggle with PTSD. And, from there, a new partnership with Wounded Warrior Project and other Veterans organizations grew into Raven Drum’s Project Resiliency. Since that time, we’ve been honored to serve more than 20,000 Veterans and 25,000 others through various programs, workshops, and retreats. As a collaborator and partner, we’ve allocated funds to 15 additional nonprofits that also serve the military community and have explored many different methods of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies for healing trauma.
“It has been raging ever more lethally
for the past 20 years with
no flattening of the curve in sight:
an American epidemic of suicide.”
~ Scientific American
Some of our most significant and impactful work has been focused on suicide prevention and trauma care for Veterans, as well as others at risk. “Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind.” (World Health Organization)
- Suicide remains the second-leading cause of death of 10-to-34 year olds and 10th overall in the U.S., with more than 700,000 people taking their own lives every year.
- The rate of Veteran suicide is 52% higher than the general population.
- In the 20 years since Raven Drum was founded more than 114,000 Veterans have taken their own lives.
- Since 2006, we’ve seen more than an 86% increase in deaths among 18-to-34-year-old male Veterans.
Although the numbers are still staggering, in 2019 we started to see an overall decrease in Veteran suicide rates, providing hope and the motivation to step up our prevention efforts. We know that access to critical programs that combat isolation and provide a sense of connectedness is essential and that comprehensive solutions are necessary.
All of us, by working together, have a role to play in saving lives.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Raven Drum has continued to serve thousands of Veterans and others at risk through the pandemic by expanding our reach to answer calls for help and supporting other nonprofits and agencies as they drew on our expertise in guiding people to practical mindfulness tools.
As we head into the final quarter of 2021 and look forward to 2022, we’re in the process of strategic planning that will enable us to streamline our focus on three key pillars: Promoting Veteran resiliency through CAM therapies, music therapy for at-risk populations, and suicide prevention.
There will be numerous opportunities to support the mission over the next few months as we ramp up and refine our approach.
“Giving is not just about making a donation.
It is about making a difference.”
~ Kathy Calvin
We’d like to hear from you, because we’re all in this together. YOU are what makes us successful. And the people we must continue to serve need you now more than ever.
Hope begins with all of us,