With the support of many hands, we’ve been on the road for 545 days, driven 39,095 miles, visited 36 states, completed 38 projects, have worked with 46 Veterans and 117 creatives, and launched 14 projects with 24 more currently preparing to launch. Now, 18 months later, our initial funds have been fully utilized and deployed, causing us to pause the upcoming tour projects in order to raise the finances needed to complete the rest of our nationwide mission.
*Each of the Veteran’s stories from the 50 States: Veterans + Artists United projects are produced into Limited Edition products where 25% of the proceeds directly benefit each Veteran and their family.
Inspired by the Haitian flag and its message of strength in unity, the Kintsugi art of repairing broken pottery with gold, and the intent of dazzle camouflage to stand out rather than blend in, U.S. Navy Veteran Darrel Charles and graphic designer Brittany Ballinger collaborated to create the design “L’Union.” Proud of his Haitian heritage, Darrel shared with Brittany the motto from the country’s coat of arms: “L’union fait la force,” meaning, “unity makes strength.”
While serving on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), he appreciated the teamwork aboard yet longed for a way to creatively express himself. Years after returning home, Darrel overcame homelessness with the help of the Florida organization “Operation Sacred Trust.” Now in school for sound engineering, Darrel hopes to use the mediums of video, music, and massage therapy to provide a means of healing and support for others.
Ultimately, Darrel and Brittany added a touch of gold to the design to highlight the beauty in brokenness just as the Japanese art of Kintsugi does, hoping to translate the inner peace found through acceptance and healing.
(AS OF MARCH 22, 2019)
We need your help to complete our meaningful mission. In early 2019, we had to pause the tour in order to secure the final $100K required to finish all fifty state projects. View our “FUNDING NEEDS TO FINISH” blogpost to learn more about how you or your business can join our mission. Any level of support will go a long way in supporting [HAS HEART] in sharing a Veteran’s story. DONATE today to help.
UPDATE: A generous donor will be willing to match a $10K donation if that person or business is also willing to challenge others to do the same. CONTACT US for more info.
[$121,512 RAISED OF OUR $250,000 GOAL]