The Doe Fund’s Annual Gala Celebrates Expansion of Program for Returning Veterans

Share Article

Brings Together Philanthropic, Business, and Political Leaders in Support of Nation’s Veterans

On Thursday, The Doe Fund joined hundreds of supporters in celebrating the expansion of Operation Opportunity, a program which provides social services and employment opportunities to veterans re-establishing themselves in civilian life.

Best known for its award-winning program Ready, Willing & Able which keeps 150 miles of New York City clean as part of a transitional employment program for formerly homeless and incarcerated men, The Doe Fund has served veterans in a distinct program since 2009. The event, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, marked a renewed sense of urgency and a call to action for New Yorkers to support American heroes in their transition home.

The evening also marked the premiere of Operation Opportunity, a documentary created by renowned film company Grand Street Media. The documentary featured The Doe Fund’s veteran trainees and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, the first living United States Marine to be bestowed the honor for his acts of bravery in Afghanistan.

The celebration attracted philanthropic, business, and political leaders in a show of support for the “men in blue” and the nation’s service members. “It is a privilege to support The Doe Fund and the veterans in Operation Opportunity” said Wendy Madden, a member of The Doe Fund’s Board of Directors and Director of Operations at Steve Madden. “They have an incredibly empowering outlook that I so admire, in that they believe that every individual has the right—and ability—to define the terms of his or her success and the course of his or her future.”

Aaron Neville, R&B legend and Grammy Award winner, performed in support of the cause. He reflected about his own connection to The Doe Fund and the “men in blue.” “In my life, I have faced starting over many times. As a youth, I wrestled with drug addiction and was incarcerated, and I know how tough it can be to get a second chance and make it work out,” he said. “I support The Doe Fund because of their tremendous work in breaking the cycles of homelessness, addiction, and criminal patterns and helping individuals become self-sufficient and productive.”

George McDonald, The Doe Fund’s Founder and President, expressed the urgent need for the services which Operation Opportunity provides. “I think people recognize just what’s at stake here,” he reflected. “More of our nation’s veterans come home every day from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; it’s estimated that about a quarter will suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is our duty as citizens to stand with our nation’s heroes to ensure that they have the resources they need to lead productive, fulfilling lives in the country they bravely served.”

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the New York City Department of Homeless Services, Operation Opportunity serves 138 veterans out of The Doe Fund’s Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity. The program offers transitional housing, counseling and benefits advocacy, education, and employment to maximize each veteran’s ability to live an impactful and meaningful life. The program is slated to expand by an additional 200 beds to accommodate rising numbers of veterans in need.

About The Doe Fund
Headquartered in New York City, The Doe Fund is a $50 million, multi-disciplinary human services agency that helps 1,000 people every day to better their circumstances through programs providing paid work; workforce development and job placement; transitional, supportive, and permanent housing; drug testing and counseling; and comprehensive social and educational services. All once homeless or incarcerated, the “men in blue” of the organization's flagship program, Ready, Willing & Able, can be seen cleaning 150 miles of New York City streets every day. This paid transitional work is the first step they take toward self-sufficiency, and they complete Ready, Willing & Able with full-time, permanent employment, apartments of their own, and their sobriety. To learn more, visit,, or

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Brian Shields

Madeline Kaye
Follow us on
Visit website