Our Mission Continues with Outdoor Adventures

Our Mission Continues with Outdoor Adventures

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Office and Northwest Arkansas Chapter have dug deep to find ways to adapt, improvise and overcome many of the challenges presented by the guidance/mandates in place. While we have postponed our large-scale adventures to 2021, #OurMissionContinues! Our reformatted Outdoor Adventures now include groups of 10 or fewer whenever possible, and we press on to keep our Sheep Dogs off that couch. Since June, we have taken more than 60 Sheep Dogs in need on 2-day adventures to experience the thrill of off-roading with razors at Rush Springs Ranch, skydiving at Skydive Fayetteville, rockcrawling with Rockcrawlers 4x4 Club NWA at Byrd's Outdoor Center, water activities on Beaver Lake, and with the recent cooler weather, indoor axe throwing, climbing and more. While it sounds like we're “just having fun,” the camaraderie, peer support and sense of belonging participants feel during these adventures is critical to the overall well-being of each Sheep Dog attending. Check out our Facebook photo albums to...
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SDIA Hosting 10th Anniversary 10K Ruck March June 27 in Honor of Fallen Heroes

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) is ready for their 10th Anniversary 10K Ruck March at a new location – Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville – on Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Funds raised from the event will allow SDIA to continue its mission to help Sheep Dogs (Veterans and First Responders) Get Off The Couch™ and continue serving through their Disaster Response Mission, Outdoor Adventure and other programs.   Along the route, SDIA will be honoring five fallen heroes, including Fayetteville’s own Officer Stephen P. Carr, 27, who was killed in the line of duty on December 7, 2019. He was hired by the Fayetteville Police Department in April 2017, and was a patrol officer assigned to the Dickson Street Entertainment District. Officer Carr was known as a "gentle giant." He was calm, fair, and truly cared about the individuals he served in the entertainment district. The other honorees are: Sergeant 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, died on February 8,...
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SDIA’s Response to COVID-19: Our Mission Continues!

SDIA’s Response to COVID-19: Our Mission Continues!

     HOW WE’VE HELPED From March 24 thru May 20, 2020, SDIA’s Teams & Chapters across the US have delivered food, masks, disinfecting supplies and other necessities to those in need. 16,777 People assisted 127,360 lbs Food, Water & Meals delivered 754 lbs Disinfecting Supplies delivered 56,525 lbs Donated Food Transported to Food Banks 5,998 N95, Medical & Handmade Masks delivered 29 Prescriptions & other items delivered       WHERE WE’VE HELPED From Hawai’i to New York City, our Teams & Chapters have been busy helping residents and frontline essential workers stay safe and healthy.     HOW YOU CAN HELP Your generous donations - large & small - will help us reach our goal of $100,000 by September 1. YOUR kindness, caring and support literally saves & changes lives! Another option is to become a recurring donor in our 10th Anniversary campaign - "$10 for 10"! Sign up and your monthly donation will automatically come to us and be used to help change the lives...
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Veteran Forges New Life with Vet Programs & SDIA

Veteran Forges New Life with Vet Programs & SDIA

Ralston “Rolly” Porro served with distinction during three tours with three separate branches of the military: Marines, Navy, and Army. During his third tour as an Army Paratrooper, he suffered significant injuries when he was thrown from the gun turret of his transport by an improvised explosive device (IED). He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), was rendered unconscious, and was medevaced out of the Arghandab Valley to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He awoke the next day in the hospital, struggling with the trauma of his injuries, the lingering effects of a serious concussion, and a small scar on his forehead as a reminder. Rolly’s struggles with his TBI continued after returning home to Chicago, and he sought help with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and his local Vet Center. There he found traditional treatment, along with yoga and meditation, and learned about Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) and its mission. Rolly also began a long and grueling Veteran’s Court program, a...
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Yellowstone Adventure Provides Camaraderie, Healing for Veterans & First Responders

Yellowstone Adventure Provides Camaraderie, Healing for Veterans & First Responders

Sheep Dogs Arrive at Yellowstone for Camaraderie & Snowmobiling Wednesday, January 29, was a beautiful day at the Bozeman, Montana, airport as Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) welcomed more than 35 veterans and first responders to town for a weekend of camaraderie and snowmobiling in West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park.   Many of the Sheep Dogs were participating in an SDIA Outdoor Adventure for the first time, and there was nervous excitement, and some anxiety, on many faces. Roger, a Navy veteran, was one of them. He sat alone for a while, and though he spoke with anyone who talked with him, he was quiet, watchful and apprehensive among so many strangers. He had taken a monumental step in helping himself by going on this trip – simply leaving his house was a battle he often didn’t win. But that day he had left his house…and went to an airport, and flew on two planes to get to Bozeman - HUGE wins...
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SDIA is Celebrating 10 Years of Helping Sheep Dogs #GetOffTheCouch in 2020

SDIA is Celebrating 10 Years of Helping Sheep Dogs #GetOffTheCouch in 2020

SDIA IS TURNING 10! It's hard to believe, but on July 13, 2020, SDIA will be 10 years old. That's: 10 years of helping our nation's heroes #GetOffTheCouch; 10 years of Disaster Response Missions and Outdoor Adventures; 10 years of lives changed by bringing Sheep Dogs together; and 10 years of working with amazing volunteers, supporters and sponsors to make it happen. Here's a quick look at where we started, and how we got to where we are today.   OUR HISTORY When Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire communities in 2005, people the world over were shocked by the devastation, and the fact that people sat for days without help…hungry, thirsty, injured, suffering and even dying. As most watched the horror unfold helplessly from their living rooms, the idea of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) began to take shape when then USMC Gunnery Sergeant Lance Nutt used years of emergency and logistical training to lead a strategic relief effort to Pass Christian, Mississippi. It was...
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SDIA’s Trip to NYC Brings Healing, Camaraderie to 80+ Veterans, First Responders

SDIA’s Trip to NYC Brings Healing, Camaraderie to 80+ Veterans, First Responders

Veterans, First Responders Visit Ground Zero The last weekend in September 2019 was beautiful in New York City, and the nearly 90 Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) Outdoor Adventurers filled their days with an appearance on Fox & Friends, tours, food, a 5K and the much-needed camaraderie of their fellow Sheep Dogs. This SDIA Outdoor Adventure centered on Ground Zero, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K because for many of the sponsored Sheep Dogs, their military and/or first responder professions began as a direct result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. These sites were “bucket list” items for many, bringing them full circle, physically and emotionally. “I feel like my military career and experiences came full circle. That everyone I know who is no longer here is commemorated every year at the very least. And that this organization is here to have your six and get you out there and pushing forward.” This large...
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SDIA Outdoor Adventures Inspire Veterans, First Responders to #GetOffTheCouch

SDIA Outdoor Adventures Inspire Veterans, First Responders to #GetOffTheCouch

Outdoor Adventures Foster Healing for Veterans & First Responders From late March through early June, SDIA was very busy helping Sheep Dogs #GetOffTheCouch on SEVEN Outdoor Adventures. Particularly for sponsored Sheep Dogs – those veterans and/or first responders injured in combat/line of duty or experiencing intense stressors – time away from day-to-day issues and anxiety, and spending time outdoors with fellow Sheep Dogs is exactly what is needed. It fosters camaraderie, organic healing, and many times leads to a renewed sense of purpose to reengage in living a productive and meaningful life.   To all the companies, organizations and individuals that partnered with us and/or sponsored/donated to these Outdoor Adventures, thank you for your support and generosity, and for making our Sheep Dogs feel like the heroes they are. To see more photos from many of these adventures, visit our Facebook page.   If you are interested in learning more about our Outdoor Adventures or know of a Sheep Dog in need of camaraderie and...
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