Heroes In Transition Receives $25,000 Grant from Yawkey Foundation

Heroes In Transition President Cyndy Jones with Yawkey Foundation Board Member Judy Walden Scarafile and Jeremy, a service dog.
Heroes In Transition President Cyndy Jones (left) with Yawkey Foundation Board Member Judy Walden Scarafile and Jeremy, our Board Member Dr. Tony Dingmann’s service dog.

In recognition of National PTSD Awareness Day, Heroes In Transition (HIT) today announced a $25,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundation to support the nonprofit’s programs which provide critical assistance to service members, veterans, and military families in our region.

“We are so grateful to the Yawkey Foundation for recognizing the need to give those we serve access to services that heal, empower, and build community,” said HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer. “This grant is a reminder that the work we are doing is important to giving individuals and families who sacrifice so much for our country the support they need and deserve.”

Last month, Yawkey Foundation Board Member Judy Walden Scarafile of Barnstable had an opportunity to experience firsthand the impact of HIT’s work when she visited Alliance Equestrian Center in Sandwich to watch veterans bond and connect with horses during the nonprofit’s Equine Warrior Program.

Launched in fall 2020, the program started with a weekend retreat in which a handful of local veterans experienced the healing nature of horses. The group has since come back on a quarterly basis for half-day sessions of equine therapy. In September, a new group of local veterans will be introduced to the program.

“It has been so interesting to learn what Heroes In Transition is doing in all their different programs to help veterans and their families at a time when it is so needed,” said Scarafile. “They really have filled an important niche and it was a good fit for the Foundation’s funding priorities, given Tom and Jean Yawkey’s lifelong belief in the restorative powers of nature and the outdoors. And as someone who lives here on the Cape and sees firsthand the commitment and sacrifices made by so many local military families, it was very meaningful for me personally to have the Foundation support Heroes In Transition.”

“The Yawkey Foundation has such a long, impressive history of supporting so many great nonprofits doing incredible work in Massachusetts and throughout New England,” Spencer said. “That’s why it means so much to us to receive this generous gift.”

HIT will use the funds to support its programs which includes providing service dogs to veterans based on need; a Spring and Fall Couples Retreat; monthly outings for veterans and service members, military spouses, and military families; an equine therapy program for military families held in the summer; financial assistance to veterans and military families; and REBOOT which helps female veterans, service members, and military spouses develop skills to build resiliency, cultivate mindfulness, and embrace good health and well-being.

All programs are free to those who serve and have served and their loved ones. Anyone interested in learning more about or participating in any of these programs should email HIT atcontact@heroesintransition.org.