28 August, 2007

Hero in Her Own Right

Another fascinating person I met in San Antonio was Colleen Saffron, Executive Director of Operation Life Transformed. Her organization fills a mostly-overlooked niche among the many efforts to support wounded military personnel and their family members. Life Transformed's focus is:

To enable our caregivers and military spouses to find job placement, flexible business models or participate in training programs in fields that readily fit around medical schedules, disabilities, future rehabilitation and transitioning, to create a portable lifestyle for the military family.

As seen in the photo above, Life Transformed recently received a $5,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation to aid them in their excellent work (that's Gen. Peter Pace on the left, and Air Force veteran Tom Indoe, President of Newman's Own, on the right).

Colleen is a great lady--confident, articulate, "together," and starting up a new non-profit--all while dealing with a severely-injured spouse (scroll down to "Terry Saffron").

In San Antonio, Colleen spoke passionately about the need for spouses/caregivers and the wounded themselves to be able to find work that fits around their recovery-focused schedules. It's needed not just for the paycheck, but for the sense of normalcy having a "regular job" provides to the caregiver, and for the independence it can provide to a recovering soldier. To fill that need, Life Transformed offers training, start-up costs, placement and equipment to help develop a new career or home-based business. Their projects have ranged from paying website costs for a new travel business to covering the cost of training for future real estate agents and medical transcriptionists.

If you know anyone whom you think could benefit from the support of Life Transformed, let them know about this great organization.