Swim with a Mission, a Bedford-based nonprofit organization that raises money for veteran service organizations, has been chosen to take on an “unprecedented leadership role” in helping direct and distribute $4 million to other veteran non-profits across the state.
New Hampshire is one of only a couple states in the country that directed millions of dollars from the CARES Act to help support veterans negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We and our Board are proud to be distributing 100% of these federal funds to so many New Hampshire charities and efforts that help support our veterans,” said Phil Taub, co-founder of Swim With a Mission (SWAM). “When Julie (Taub) and I started Swim with A Mission we never realized our charity would be distributing millions of dollars that will do so much to help save the lives of those who have served us all. It’s overwhelming to see the support from people in this state for our veterans.”
SWAM is distributing sub-grants to the following: Veterans Count (part of Easter Seals NH); Liberty House (now part of Catholic Charities); Harbor Care; Homeland Heroes; The Currier Museum of Art (to create an art therapy program to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD); Operation Delta Dog in Hollis; 45 Hero Pups and Annie’s Angels in Stratham to help pay for more trained service and support dogs for Veterans.
Camp Resilience and Clear Path will also receive funds to hold recreational therapy retreats, officials said.
SWAM will not be a direct recipient of any of the $4 million in grant funds.
According to Taub, the funds for Veterans Count will help fill a big gap due to physical fundraising events that were canceled due to Covid-19 and policies limiting public gatherings and events. Veterans Count provides financial assistance to New Hampshire veterans and their families.
The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester will be creating one of the region’s first art therapy programs for veterans in a new 2,000-square-foot area of the museum. The funds will also help finish the new Liberty House and Recreation Facility in Manchester for homeless veterans to help them “transition during tough times,” Taub said, while several groups will be able to deliver more service and support dogs to help veterans overcome or cope with PTSD from service.
“This is really remarkable and a first for New Hampshire,” said Taub. “To be able to help so many of our veterans with therapy programs and support dogs that will hopefully reverse the damage done by COVID-19 over the last six months to our veterans who suffered the loss of critical services and increased isolation and anxiety. The impact these funds are going to have on people’s lives over the next few years … it’s going to be amazing to watch.”