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Why I do what I do

posted May 3, 2014, 9:01 AM by Cat Hammes   [ updated Mar 29, 2015, 8:29 AM ]
Hi, for those of you who do not know me I am Cat known the One Legged Blonde.

Many of you know I am extremely involved with veterans. I am currently working on two projects at the same time. I have decided the best way to raise funds for both programs is a cross country motorcycle ride. I will be attending events and various gatherings planned Cigars for Warriors Event coordinators, Cigar shops themselves and personal friends of the crew. I will explain more about these charities and my involvement, but first want to back up and tell you my life's events that brought me to this point, and led me to my passion and work for veteran outreach.

In 2006 I was seriously injured almost killed on my motorcycle. The accident caused traumatic brain injury, amputation of my left leg, and other injuries I’m still dealing with today. At the time of the accident, I had a very good career in nursing, I owned a cigar shop, I had a large Victorian home in the suburbs, and of course all the toys that come along with a six-figure income.

In the blink of an eye it was all gone.... the house, the career, the cigar shop, a divorce, and a loss of many friends and more. During this period of my life, I was taken to visit and volunteered my time at a veteran's homeless shelter. I was amazed by all of their stories. I was amazed at their personal sacrifices and the huge price they paid.....for me, to secure and protect my freedom. Being with these veterans affected me to such a degree, that it drove me to recover, getting on with my life, so I could commit to what I love....helping those who have secured my freedom and liberties. I’ve been passionately involved with veteran outreach ever since.

I found out about Cigars for Warriors 3 years ago. It is an international nonprofit organization that sends premium cigars and products to our active military. After much research and liking what they did.... I really felt it would be a good fit for me to get involved raising funds and work with this organization. I know how important a good cigar can be to those who are missing many of the comforts of home. Cigars are sent to the soldiers in many foreign places, offering a little respite and comfort. After owning my own shop, I can put my knowledge to good work and help those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

The other organization I have linked with is Veterans Outreach, also a non-profit 501c3. 

Our mission is to help veterans strive for normalcy in life by helping them furnish their new found homes while providing additional assistance as needed. We help the newly placed, previously homeless veterans make a home by providing household goods down to the towels, silverware and groceries. 100% of our funds are used to keep this warehouse of hope open. I have donated countless hours of time helping them. We even helped a homeless veteran who refused housing if his dog could not come. The old dog needed veterinarian care, and we found a vet to donate his time...getting the dog and owner back on track. The dog was this man's only family. 

I don’t just do veteran outreach once a year. I live it.  I don’t say this to pat myself on the back. I do it because they helped a broken shattered civilian get her life back and fill it full of meaning. I cannot pay it forward enough. I may hate politics and wars but I love our warriors!

The funds I am trying to raise would help execute my hopes, dreams and years of planning. Yes it is a long ride with many events along the way. The schedule has meet and greets, parties, events.....but the purpose at each stop remains the same. I am not interested in fame, but I know it takes the right people, the right media and the right places to make things happen. So with that being said, I hope to collect cigars, raise money, give honor and show respect for our country's veterans.

I have carefully chosen a crew of 2 others. John Rouge is a dear friend and an icon in motorcycle journalism. Dr. Ruth is my very capable road captain and another dear friend who will keep me on track! Both are true veteran supporters. The funds we raise will be for our overhead, spending very modestly and frugally, and for my chosen two project charities; Cigars for Warriors, and Veteran's Outreach. 

I would appreciate any participation, donations and ideas along the way. Please check the schedule updates coming daily and come see us, ride with us, and work with us. If you have gas cards or hotel points, we can use these as well. This is my passion...my mission, and I would love your help.

You can make donations with PayPal

cat_health@hotmail.com


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