making solutions for injured veterans from the U.s. and israel
VETERANS IDENTIFY THEIR INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGES
We start with the unmet needs of Veterans, empowering them to tell us what they need and then to be a part of making the solution.
2- TEAMS OF EXPERTS COME TOGETHER TO BUILD SOLUTIONS
Next the experts get to work during a 3-day intensive make-a-thon (a making marathon!) to create innovative solutions that directly address those unmet needs.
3- A SOLUTION FOR ONE CAN BECOME A SOLUTION FOR MANY
Following each event, we work with strategic partners to develop viable solutions into products and services that can help veterans and others around the world.
Meet the 2019 Veteran Challenge Knowers
Challenge: Transferring between his handcycle and wheelchair
Challenge: A tech companion to combat PTSD symptoms throughout her day
Challenge: Two-arm stone lift
Challenge: Getting up from and down to floor to play with his baby
Challenge: Using his devices so that he can go back to school
Challenge: controlling his devices without assistance
Challenge: Automated hand stretching orthotic for spasticity
Challenge: A portable seat cushion
Israeli Defense Forces Veteran and above-the-knee amputee, Assaf is not able to sit down for long periods, as it generates tremendous pain in his amputated limb. He is looking for a seat cushion to relieve this pain by supporting his limb.
Challenge: Biking with her service dog
Former U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer, AnnMarie used to race bikes and competed in triathlons, but stopped riding after she got her service dog, Leigh Ann, who is now always by her side. Her goal is to get back on her bike, but she needs a solution that would allow Leigh Ann to accompany her safely.
Challenge: Getting back to volunteer work
Army Veteran, Selina suffers from a condition called Ehlers Danlos. She loves to volunteer, but the physical work has caused her arms to develop tendon tears. She is looking for an assistive device that will enable her to perform some volunteer tasks again, while preventing further injury.
Challenge: Exercising on his own
Air Force Veteran, Bill has a central nervous system movement disorder, which includes spasticity and paralysis. Doing leg exercises daily helps to manage the spasms, but he is not able to do them on his own. He is looking for a way to independently get his exercises in every day.
Challenge: Managing finances and depression
Now in the Air Force Reserves, Silvia endured a sexual assault during her service that has derailed her career goals and many life plans. Now her goal is to be as healthy as possible, and that includes financial health with the dream of owning her own home for her and her daughter.
Challenge: Extra-skeletal Hand Grip
Army Veteran, Robert was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 1983 that rendered him a C5 quadriplegic. Rob feels achieving effective, extra skeletal grip would improve his quality of life immensely.
Challenge: Military Sisterhood Initiative
As part of the Military Sisterhood Initiative (MSI) to forge a national peer support network for women of the military, the team will create an online platform where military sisters can connect with one another, share resources, and give voice to their collective strength.
Challenge: Digital Service Dog App
This past Spring, Team Ginger created a mobile and smartwatch application designed to help Ginger to get out of the house and do the things that make her happy. Now the goal is to make DiGi available to all Veterans and others struggling with similar challenges for free on the App Store.
PAST VETERAN CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
PARTNERS AND SPONSORS
Challenge America partnered with Israeli nonprofit, Restart, on their flagship program called Makers For Heroes. Challenge America led the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Makers For Heroes in Tel Aviv, Israel and witnessed the miraculous solutions and transformative experience that came out of it for the veterans, their families and everyone involved. Challenge America then brought the program back to the U.S. - to Cleveland OH - where the Israeli-U.S. connection will be preserved by also serving Israeli Veterans through the program. This way, we connect Veterans across borders, proving that we are undoubtedly stronger together.