StandWatch.org is a Guidestar Bronze 501(c)3 nonprofit that is being built from the ground up to provide free medical care to veterans who live in small towns and rural areas. Over 300,000 veterans have died waiting for healthcare services. StandWatch is going to try and put an end to that.
As a veteran and someone who worked in the defense sector for close to 17 years, our CEO, Zac Northup, is keenly aware of the issues that affect men and women in uniform. After the Veteran’s Administration IG report was made public last September, he felt moved to do something, but a specific plan was elusive. Later that week, Zac was watching a YouTube video series called Expedition Overland. In episode seven, a group of veteran doctors and medics used modified four-wheel drive vehicles to travel to a remote village in Central America to provide free medical services to the inhabitants. This particular location was often overlooked by other aid organizations due to its remoteness. That’s where the idea for StandWatch came from. Zac texted Melin Moses and Al Conaway that night, and the three sat down the next morning to lay out a plan to try and make StandWatch a reality.
When we first started, our only goal was to provide medical care and family support services to veterans on the ground in their communities. As we have grown, however, we have discovered that our experience provides us with insight into a broad range of public policy issues, particularly those that affect people in rural areas and small towns throughout Appalachia. Looking for a way to utilize this capability, we found an article from Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, which stated:
“High-impact organizations may start out providing great programs, but they eventually realize that they cannot achieve large-scale social change through service delivery alone. So they add policy advocacy to acquire government resources and to change legislation. Other nonprofits start out by doing advocacy and later add grassroots programs to supercharge their strategy.”
“Ultimately, all high-impact organizations bridge the divide between service and advocacy.”
To that end, we created a separate 501c4 social welfare political organization called StandWatch America. Each organization is entirely separate from the other, including different boards, EINs, bank accounts, and management policies. StandWatch.org will focus exclusively on charitable work. Our advocacy will be done through StandWatch America.
StandWatch Advisors are at the forefront of our community outreach effort. As important members of their states, hometowns, and professional communities, advisors have volunteered to lead the way and help us spread the word about everything we’re trying to do. We need local supporters who can pitch-in. StandWatch Advisors are the tip of the spear.