Chris Kyle was the Navy SEAL sniper famously portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the Clint Eastwood movie, “American Sniper.” Kyle was murdered in 2013 along with his friend, Chad Littlefield, as they attempted to help a former Marine, Eddie Ray Routh, address his PTSD. While Kyle may be gone, his widow, Taya Kyle, continues the missions of helping service members, veterans and first responders with PTSD through the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
The foundation works with companies and other partners to raise money to help those who suffer from PTSD and other associated illnesses. Samantha Kalfas is the head of Partnerships & Finance, “The foundation was started in 2014 by Taya Kyle. Our mission is to keep military and first responder communities together. One of her biggest successes was their successful marriage and family. So she looked at what helped them make it and what worked and works to help the military families and first responders.”
Companies will host events in partnership with the foundation that benefit the foundation and help them raise funds for their programs. Kalfas says that their flagship events are, “The Chicago Gala and the Chris Kyle Legendary Classic golf tournament. The programs at the Foundation include Date Night Out, Revitalization Retreat, Empowered Spouses Retreat and Mastering Your Marriage.“
Kalfas points out that the events are unique and centered around the family and dealing with issues experienced by our military and first responders, “Date Night Out program provides an opportunity for military and first responder couples to come together in a community environment to have fun and remember that shared and joyful experiences are an essential component in healthy marriages.”
The website, Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, describes it as, “It is also an opportunity to connect with other service couples and know they are not alone in dealing with the unique challenges that can come with a life of service. The Date Night Out (DNO) program is an opportunity for CKFF and community partners to say “thank you” to military and first responder couples and to raise continued awareness about the challenges these families face. Our DNO events are supported by Partners and localized opportunities. CKFF works with military units and first responder departments located closely to the DNO locations to find participants.”
Kalfas says each partnership is just as unique as the programs offered by the foundation, “All of our partnerships are different. We like to really think outside the box and do something that will work for both us and the event sponsor. We don’t have a “menu” where we say that we want to do this, this and this. Many of our partners will host an event for us. We really focus on the communities and families we can impact when the event is complete.” Just because an event is successful doesn’t mean it will be done the same way year after year, the foundation will recap the event with the partner and talk about all aspects of the event. “Any organization needs to grow and evolve and we do that. You have to if you want to stay current. We’ll discuss each event afterward.”
In addition to their work within their own programs, the foundation also awards grants to other foundations. The mission of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF) is to Honor God, country and families who serve. It is focused on changing the world for this generation and the next by recognizing and strengthening military and first responder marriages through unique programs and powerful partnerships. CKFF supports this mission by recognizing and supporting programs offered by reputable nonprofits that compliment our focus without duplicating effort. The criteria includes:
Mission and programs that focus on family Balance between first responder- and military-focused missions Positive reputation and assessments with demonstrable positive outcomes Reputable use of funds with respect to transparency and accountability Ability to expand CKFF’s impact on military and first responder marriages and families. The foundation website has all of the information about events and partnerships. There is a form for third-party events on the website to fill out and submit if a company or organization is interested in hosting a benefit on behalf of the organization.
For more information, you can visit the foundation website, www.chriskylefrogfoundation.org or email Kalfas at firstname.lastname@example.org.