Tag Archives: civic duty

In the Spotlight: The Heroes Project


Julian Omidi spotlights The Heroes Project, an organization that takes United States Armed Forces veterans – many of whom have suffered life-altering injuries – on mountain climbing expeditions in order to help them recover their sense of purpose and determination.

The world needs heroes – we also need to endeavor to deserve them.  The United States Armed Forces men and women perform heroic duties every day.  They put their lives on the line in inhospitable countries for our protection and freedom, and we must pay them back by doing everything we can to make their transition back to civilian life welcoming, harmonious and prosperous.

The Heroes Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving veterans the support they have earned throughout their difficult service.  It is a wonderful organization, and it was born out of a deep respect and admiration for every man and woman who has given him/herself over to dedicated, selfless service.

The Heroes Project was started by Tim Medvetz, a former Hell’s Angel who spent many years engaging in high-adrenaline sports and activities.  After he crashed his motorcycle in 2000 and spent years in physical therapy and recovery, he decided to challenge his physical and emotional limits by climbing Mt. Everest.  After 4 years of training and one aborted attempt, he reached his goal in May of 2007.  His experience recovering from his almost crippling injuries coupled with the purpose and thrill of achieving his goal led him to want to share it with the members of the community that he strongly felt deserved to have the feeling of vitality and determination restored to them: Injured U.S. veterans.

The Heroes Project has so far sponsored mountain climbing expeditions for several veterans – two in 2009 that were filmed in order to show other veterans what they are capable of.  The expeditions were up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mt. Elbrus in Russia.

In addition to sponsoring, training and guiding veterans on climbing expeditions, The Heroes Project also acts as a lobbying and advocacy organization for veteran’s rights and services, including educational opportunities, empowerment programs and programs for military families.

Civic Duty is honored to sponsor the Heroes Project and its upcoming Everest Climb event.  The Everest Climb will take place in March of 2014.

We are truly blessed to have a group of people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for our safety and security.  We at Civic Duty cannot offer these men and women enough praise, and we hope that our support of The Heroes Project will help it to continue to offer these spectacular, life-changing opportunities for many years into the future.

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Home Depot Staff Throw Surprise Party for Ailing Employee

Julian Omidi recognizes the employees of a Modesto, California Home Depot for going above and beyond for a young member of their community by throwing him a much longed-for birthday party at their store branch.

While we applaud all those who volunteer for philanthropic organizations or donate to great charities, we don’t necessarily have to participate in an organized act of charity with a registered nonprofit to make a significant difference in someone’s life.

We at Civic Duty are always impressed when we hear about regular people working to improve a veritable stranger’s life, and we would like to salute a group of Home Depot employees who gave a five-year-old child his birthday wish.

The Modesto, California native, Joshua Hagerty, has several medical issues relating to his heart and kidneys, and has had, to date, 15 surgeries.  When his mother asked him what kind of party he wanted for his birthday, the tyke responded that he want a builder’s themed party, with construction sets and other paraphernalia.

After contacting Home Depot (Joshua’s favorite place) to see about getting the necessary equipment, the employees and store manager decided to simply throw the party at the Modesto Home Depot outlet.

The staff decorated the store with all of the birthday trappings and a few extra workshop-themed touches; balloons, crepe paper, construction kits, workshop sets, Legos, goody-bags for the young guests and a birthday cake shaped like a hammer.

Joshua was thrilled with the event, saying that it was “the best birthday, ever.”  [1]

One of the most remarkable things about the spontaneous act of generosity was that it wasn’t sponsored by the Home Depot corporate office; the employees paid for the birthday celebration out of their own pockets.

Joshua’s mother, Jennifer Hagerty, has asked for help in thanking the Modesto Home Depot employees and store manager Kevin Baum for their unexpected act of generosity.

Civic Duty would like to applaud the Home Depot crew for their kindness, and we hope that other people who hear about their thoughtfulness will be inspired to initiate their own acts of compassion.  We are only as strong as the spirit of our society, and if everyone chipped in to help other people, regardless of whether or not the recipients are known by their benefactors, then our communities would certainly begin to cohere both culturally and spiritually.

Bravo to the Home Depot crew, and we hope that this is only one of many, many happy birthdays for young Joshua Hagerty!


[1] Fitzharris, Mia: The Home Depot Throws Awesome Birthday Party for Deserving 5-Year-Old Boy Yahoo! News 9/20/2013 http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/the-home-depot-throws-awesome-birthday-party-for-deserving-5-year-old-boy-184812264.html

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Children’s Lifesaving Foundation Celebrates Two Decades of Assistance with Donations

Julian Omidi discusses the importance of Children’s Lifesaving Foundation (CLF) and their landmark 20th anniversary in late September of 2013.

At Civic Duty, my brother Michael and I wanted to help the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation celebrate their 20th anniversary by providing support in the Rise to Thrive Charity Challenge. The CLF, the organization devoted to changing the lives of homeless and at-risk children and families in Los Angeles through academic social and domestic support, sported three victories in the late September celebration.

The first win to kick the celebrations off was that the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation partnered up with CrowdRise (founded by actor Edward Norton), a philanthropist group that hosts fundraising websites, to assist the Omidis and company to raise funding for six at-risk children’s college education. The campaign partners have already risen $3,893 – 19 percent of the way toward their $20,000 goal.

To encourage all to join in on this goal, an incentive of creating a personal CrowdRise page was implemented. The top five fundraisers of the CLF will receive VIP ticket to the CLF’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Concert on December 7th. This event will be hosted by 1980s rock legends four-time Grammy Winner Pat Benatar and husband and lead guitarist Neil Giraldo.

The final and most generous victory came from top fundraising organization CrowdRise’s: The Rise to Thrive Challenge. This organization sponsored by CrowdRise and Visa Rush Card (co-founded by Russell Simmons) won a $25,000 donation to assist CLF continue its philosophy in transforming more lives.

In 20 years of giving, the CLF has served over 75,000 at-risk and homeless youth, moved 45 low income families into new apartments and provided thousands more with in-kind and financial donation, issued 44 college scholarship to well-qualified youths in addition to other enriching, like family and holiday opportunities.

CLF and Civic Duty invite you to not only start your own CrowdRise, but be mindful, supportive and compassionate towards children and families that are homeless and at risk. To get involved or to lend a helping hand to families suffering, send us a message on our Civic Duty webpage, or on the Civic Duty Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter pages for more information.

The Rise to Thrive Challenge concludes October 22nd.

By Julian Omidi

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