The organization’s primary fundraiser for SHARE is an annual campaign during which the Shepherd’s Men team completes a daily 22km run – more than a half-marathon (21.1km or 13.1 miles) – to represent the 22 deaths by suicide of U.S. veterans every day. Each member completes this multi-city journey wearing a flak vest with armored plates, weighing 22 pounds to symbolically SHARE the burden with those who may be lost, weary and longing for HOPE. All legs of the run are open invitation for members of the corresponding community to walk, run and cheer alongside the team. Shepherd’s Men members meet with veteran’s groups, VFWs, police, firemen and other local organizations to honor those who have fought for our freedom, and bring attention to the combat veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in need of treatment.
The SHARE Military Initiative is a primarily donor-funded program at Shepherd Center and clients receive these services at no charge to them or their families. SHARE’s 2017 annual fundraising need was $1,150,000; the Shepherd’s Men raised in excess of $1 million to cover the current operating budget of $1.2 million and increase the number of clients who can be served each year.