Enriching the lives of those with developmental challenges
while honoring our nation’s Veterans.
As a community initiative, the Shining Honor Project has a two-fold purpose. SHP provides employment opportunities for adults with developmental challenges, while honoring our nation’s service men and women.
Erin Wambold, Executive Director, has more than 20 years experience working with nonprofit organizations. She has advanced degrees from both Northeastern State University and the University of Oklahoma. Ms. Wambold shares a strong belief that people, relationships, and compassion are the driving force for effective fundraising. Listening to individual needs and desires are imperative toward helping people reach their philanthropic goals.
Shining Honor Project began in Oklahoma, April 2017, and expanded into Montana in the Spring of 2018. We partner with the Gatesway Foundation and other caregiving agencies by providing funding for their clients to clean and restore headstones belonging to military veterans and their spouses. Through this process, we are able to honor those who have endured enormous sacrifices for our country while providing employment opportunities for adults with developmental challenges.
These projects give our Honor Team members an added sense of purpose, pride and value to their lives. There’s something therapeutic and peaceful about sitting down and taking a headstone that’s aging, stained and covered with moss and making it shiny once again. It’s our privilege to help enrich the lives of individuals through fulfilling employment that also serves to better our community.
Our Honor Team members earn income that exceeds the minimum wage, providing much-needed income to help cover their basic essentials. Many Gatesway clients receive as little as $50 per month of government assistance. Perhaps most importantly, participants are able to work and develop skills that will prove invaluable in a wide-range of “real world” situations.
“The Shining Honor Project has been a fantastic program for Gatesway clients. Giving them the opportunity to go to work, earn a paycheck and become increasingly independent has made a difference in their lives. You can tell by the smiles on their faces, that they enjoy their time with Shining Honor.”
– Leadership Team at the Gatesway Foundation
One hundred percent of the Shining Honor Project donations go directly to our partnering organizations and our Honor Team members with the help of the Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) and the Whitefish Community Foundation (WCF). Donations received will be used to cover transportation, supplies and hourly wages for Honor Team members and their job coaches.
Donations are requested to be made to the Tulsa Community Foundation or the Whitefish Community Foundation on behalf of the Shining Honor Project. These community foundations serve as an additional resource to oversee the distribution of funds to the caregiving agencies for the benefit of the Honor Team members.
All donations will be used exclusively for the benefit of the agencies and Honor Team members, and will not be used for any Shining Honor Project overhead or administrative expenses. Donors receive a tax-deductible receipt for 100% of the donation. Our donors can have confidence that their entire donation will go into the hands of those who need it most.