United Special Sportsman Alliance, Inc. (USSA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit national wish granting charity that specializes in sending critically ill and disabled youth and disabled veterans on the outdoor adventure of their dreams! USSA adventures give our youth and veterans something to look forward to, and help sustain them in their time of need! Families are whisked away from the mundane, man-made world of hospitals, and high medical bills by giving them a place of peace to focus on the quality of life, family ties, and the wonders of our natural world! USSA is composed of a 100% volunteer staff from all walks of life, bonded together by a common love for our fellow mankind and a deep respect and appreciation of our world's natural resources. By working cooperatively with caring "Adventure" donors as well as generous individual and corporate sponsors, USSA has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of children, disabled veterans and their families. The public's image of all sportsmen is enhanced, through this valuable community service and new lifelong friendships are made! To learn more about USSA read on.
Brigid O'Donoghue - CEO and Founder
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Brigid O'Donoghue grew up in a large family of Irish decent. As the oldest daughter in a family with 9 kids, responsibility came knocking at the door early in life for her. With limited financial resources, attending the area's best private educational facilities required her to get after school and weekend jobs. Her younger brother is physically and mentally challenged, and in many respects was a deep inspiration in her formative years (read the Prologue below). From that point on, there has always been a calling in her heart to reach out to others who are less fortunate and need her help. Unfortunately, having her own personal health challenges arose to throw a curve ball at her life plans. After numerous bouts in and out of the hospital, including major surgery to remove scar tissue from a high fever, Brigid was ready to pick-up her life where it had left off years ago.
The entrepreneur in her led her to begin her own business selling semi loads of ground bark to landscapers around the Midwest. In addition, she blazed new trails, by trucking bagged cottonseed up from the cotton gin producer to feed mills up north. During that time, she raised two wonderful children, through the constant abuse and lack of support in her relationship. Currently, her daughter Lindsey has graduated from nursing school and will go on to be a RN nurse (like her grandmother). Her son Kenny is married to Heather and will graduate in August in the Navy EOD Special Operations. They are dear to her heart, and provide inspiration in her life and work.
In 1998, Brigid put her feed mill and trucking knowledge to work and started a new specialized company called Bio-Tec Research Inc, which formulates and markets North America's highest quality deer and elk products. In addition, she forged a limited edition fashion line called "Charnel" that features unique, tailored outdoor wear.
The seeds were sown for the birth of USSA when a deer food customer asked Brigid, if she knew of any critically ill hunter who would be interested in a free deer hunt at his ranch. Brigid contacted a Texas man with cancer who flew into harvest a nice buck and from that point on USSA's wheels were set in motion. By helping him realize his dream and spending time with this man, Brigid was truly inspired and she knew in her heart that she could pass happiness on to others who were dealing with life threatening illnesses. She went on with a vision to develop the all-volunteer United Special Sportsman Alliance in fall of 2000.
Brigid observed that the inspiration passed on in her work through this charity, creates special moments that make even the most difficult of lives challenges so meaningful. There is never a time that she does not look back and realize how fortunate she is to have overcome so many personal challenges, and that personal healing keeps her striving to do all she can to bring joy and hope into the hearts of others. There is a special place in her heart for those kids, adults and vet and their families that she gets to share time with, and they are always a special addition to her own family.
Brigid is continuously motivated by the incredible love and life-long connections created by the sharing between so many special people within the charity. The time shared with these wonderful kids, injured soldiers/veterans, and their families leaves her with the understanding that neither she nor USSA recipients are ever truly alone!
Brigid said, "The greatest impact of this charity is helping provide the inspiration for others to get involved. We pass on our vision to see beyond the pain, disability and hardships of serious illnesses. We know we all will endure loss, but the sharing in our work has created a mechanism of hope and healing for the children, the families and for those who help by volunteering their time and resources for this important cause". She goes on to add, "I have been greatly inspired, yet humbled by the positive national impact this vision has created."
Brigid works with television, radio, printed media, and Internet media across the country; the response from those who get involved is overwhelming. She wants to inspire others to become optimistically intertwined in the lives of others and make a real difference. It thus far has been successful beyond the charity's expectations, with thousands of people experiencing a unique way to share hope and create new friendships.
Brigid plans to continue working with a strong Board of Directors, Major Operating Officers, Advisory Council, and Youth Outdoor Leaders, to build a charity of caring people all with the same mission to provide joy and hope in the lives of needy children and injured veterans/soldiers. Brigid said, "I feel very blessed to be given the opportunity to operate God's charity".
Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".
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Living A Dream At Wilderness Whitetails
Few people sacrifice more for their fellow American servicemen and servicewomen! During this Christmas season of giving we would like to share two heartwarming stories where our nation's sportsmen and women say a heartfelt thanks to those that have faithfully served our country!
As an active duty service man, Chad's job requires him to leave the family he loves and cross the ocean to serve our country. It is doubly tough for Chad, since his son Joshua is battling a life threatening illness. With his redeployment in the near future, Chad and his son Joshua attended a trophy buck hunt at Wilderness Whitetails in Rosholt, WI. Joshua harvested an awesome buck scoring 184 7/8 the afternoon of November 6th! Undoubtedly the memory of this tremendous buck hunt will warm the hearts of both father and son during their time apart while Chad serves active duty.
At Wilderness Whitetails, the spirit of giving was still at work, as their family would like to say a very heartfelt thanks to Ned Seath another true American service man hero. Ned received 4 Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star and the Navy Cross in his highly decorated service to our country! As the sun was setting on September 26th, Ned harvested a beautiful buck scoring 174 5/8.
Wilderness Whitetails has certainly gone beyond the call off duty in their ability to bring quality deer hunting trips to those children in need and veterans who have helped make our country the great country that it is!
As a member of a profession that preserves outdoor memories, Dean O'Brien of the Minnesota Taxidermy Guild is mounting Joshua's buck. Ned's buck will be mounted live on stage at the Michigan Taxidermy Association Convention in Grand Rapids, MI in March 2012. We at USSA would like to thank all the donors who helped make a difference in the lives of these servicemen and their families! God bless.
Safari Club International Foundation
Since 2000, SCI Foundation (SCIF) has provided $47 million to conservation, wildlife education, and humanitarian programs around the world. Growth of SCIF has continued to gain momentum through charitable donations from SCI members and direct grants from local chapters and the SCI organization. A recent effort that just completed its fund-raising drive is the Hunter Legacy Fund which is a dedicated funding source for wildlife conservation . This endowment was created by one hundred individuals and corporations, dedicating a pledge of $100,000 to create a $10 million endowment to ensure conservation programs of SCIF will continue long into the future. A similar effort kicked off in 2008 to create an endowment for conservation education.
With recent expenditures exceeding $5 million annually, SCI Foundation has continued to promote science-based conservation through wildlife research, capacity building in governments, youth and teacher education, and humanitarian programs which show the importance of the hunting community in society. A project nearing completion, called the "White Book", will showcase nearly 150 conservation projects where SCIF has made major contributions to the world of wildlife management.
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USSA is a registered 501(c)(3) national organization; 100% volunteer based. Your "Donation" is tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Whether you are a business, an organization, a foundation, a governmental agency, outfitter, landowner, or a private citizen looking to make a difference, USSA has an "option" to make your involvement simple AND rewarding!
Our Sponsor's dollars help USSA meet its numerous operational expenses in addition to playing a greater role in large scale group events. Sponsorship dollars also subsidize travel expenses for our "recipients" to and from the field, license fees, taxidermy expense, and game processing.
II. Donors and Partners
USSA Donors are the "field generals" of our charity. These are the people and operations that are on the front lines, donating hunting, fishing, camping, horseback riding, and water sports adventures to our nations less fortunate sportsmen and women. Our donors are a diverse group. They are our country's land owner's outfitters, preserve owners, fishing lodge owners, boat owners and campground owners to name a few examples. Without their generosity and compassion, USSA would be just another charity. If you have any "outdoor type" service you would like to offer please let us know. If you have any unique outdoor experience you would like to offer, please let us know, and we will post your special opportunity under one of our homepage adventure buttons called "Other Activities". We will then help coordinate the wish for you and your recipient.
Our USSA Partners are organizations and operations that share a common cause and philosophy about human dignity, conservation, and outdoor sports. Partners can contribute valuable services, like media and communications or intangibles like providing a united solid front on key conservation, education and sportsmanship issues. If you would like to become a partner and be listed on our web site, please contact us at: "Contact USSA"
Partner, Donor, Sponsor and Member support is essential to promoting a new era of outdoor sports for the 21st century. A united voice with ALL concerned operations and organizations is crucial to see the mission to a successful end.
If you would like to mail your donation download the Donor Form