06:31 PM EDT 11/20/2014

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Credit: Robert Gallagher
People First Initiative: Help America's Veterans Get Back to Work

Helping America's Veterans Get Back to Work

Originally posted 04/08/2013 06:00PM

In 2012, PEOPLE invited you, our readers, to step up when we launched our yearlong initiative, PEOPLE First: Help Feed A Child. Partnering with Blessings in a Backpack, a Lousville, Ky-based nonprofit that provides food-filled backpacks to schoolchildren, we brought you stories of childhood hunger. You heard the call–and stepped up with an incredible outpouring of generosity and support. PEOPLE readers contributed some $677,000 to Blessings and launched new backpack programs in 138 schools funded by $1.1 million in donations.

We hope this same spirit of giving inspires you to join our 2013 initiative, PEOPLE First: Help America's Veterans. Throughout the year, we will bring you stories of duty and sacrifice, struggle and triumph, as we look at the challenges facing thousands of post 9/11 veterans.

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