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OPERATION MERAKI

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Community
  • Employment
  • Veterans & Military Families

Location

1209 Hill Rd N Suite 148PICKERINGTON, OH 43147 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Mission: Restoring the dignity and quality of life for transitioning Veterans, by helping them tell their stories and mentoring them towards success. Vision: Our vision is to combat the challenges Veterans face after conflict and separation from military service. We build community partnerships that address challenges of reintegration with unique mental health programs and employability training. Operation Meraki will combat underemployment for service members and refocus their emotional and cognitive abilities towards transitional success. We believe when Veterans are given a new mission, they bring a unique perspective to society.

Description

Operation Meraki is a veteran led beginning nonprofit dedicated to assisting veterans transition from military life to a new mission as a successful and productive part of society. We build bridges using experiential photography therapy, career training, and help Veterans tell their stories in order to build a better society with Veterans making important contributions to the future.

Mike Thomas, a disabled veteran, discovered photography as an outlet for his PTSD. He found that he was able to express himself artistically in ways he was never able to through traditional therapy. This led Mike to found Operation Meraki. Meraki is a Greek word for putting your soul into the work of your hands. His purpose is now to bring this opportunity to veterans who may also discover the virtue of putting their soul into the work of their art. Since 2019, Refocus, our main program, has served 300 veterans. Out of those served, 150 have gone on to seek additional help managing their behaviors and emotions through more structured therapy. We are also developing, ReEngage, an opportunity for Veterans to gain hands-on career training to become viable candidates for positions that are relevant to their experiences.

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