Celebrating a Decade of Collaboration!
Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS) celebrates 10 years this November! We began as a volunteer effort to increase collaboration among service organizations and reduce barriers to resources for veterans and their families. Today, as a full-fledge nonprofit, we’ve connected with over 9,000 veterans across the Upstate and provided holistic case management services in partnership with countless community organizations.
Duplicating nothing and partnering with everyone, we continually work to build a network of organizations to support local veterans no matter the need. Our 30,000-foot view of existing resources also gives us a unique vantage point to identify gaps in services and to support new initiatives to meet those needs.
Sitting knee-to-knee with veterans and engaging them in the process of self-empowerment remains at the heart of everything we do at UWS. As collaboration among organizations grow, we’re able to respond quickly and effectively to meet critical needs, as was the case this month with veteran James Burden.
James served in the U.S. Army as a Supply Specialist in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. A friend encouraged him to reach out to us for assistance because he was no longer able to lift his wife’s wheelchair to get her in and out of their home. “Because of my own health needs, I just couldn’t manage it anymore,” James shared. A wheelchair ramp was clearly long overdue.
Our warrior advocacy team coordinated with Love of God and County and Vets Helping Vets of Greenville to secure funding, materials, and manpower to install a ramp. The entire process from first contact to project completion took a month. “They did such a good job on it,” James said. “It’s changed so much for us to be able to get my wife in and out of the house without having to lift her chair.”
So much progress has been made in the last decade to increase access to these kind of life-changing resources for our veterans, and we count every collaborative project as a major win for our local warriors and our community as a whole. With over 100,000 veterans living in the Upstate of South Carolina, there’s still much work to be done, and UWS is here for it.