When a boxer is pushed “on the ropes” by his opponent, he’s in big trouble. That’s how it feels for many American combat veterans struggling to “get their lives back” after fighting for our U.S. freedoms.
Serving struggling combat veterans in the greater Los Angeles area, volunteers for TUFF (The Unlimited Fitness Foundation) — a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization) — provide free, structured, professional boxing, fitness, wellness and nutrition programs to help veterans "get their lives back."
The TUFF program works by teaching and motivating individuals in a safe, mutually respectful environment where veteran comrades train together in their shared quest to heal and reintegrate into civilian life.However, because TUFF receives NO funding from any government or veteran organization, we need your help to secure additional equipment and a permanent, full-time fitness training facility.
A safe, stable healing place where veterans know they can always go to get fit and feel "at home" — especially considering many of these veterans are homeless.
Abundant scientific research reveals that physical fitness and nutrition are catalysts for restorative change. TUFF’s strategic curriculum helps veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, anger, substance use disorders, social withdrawal and other combat-related consequences. The program helps veterans regain physical strength, confidence and mental stability as they learn valuable skills in fitness, boxing and nutrition, and simultaneously receive like-minded peer support, teamwork, bonding and camaraderie essential to healing.
TUFF testimonials validate the effectiveness of this life-changing program for veterans. In addition to meriting the commendation of Eric Garcetti, Mayor, City of Los Angeles, California, the TUFF program earns kudos from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Volunteers of America Greater Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, among others. OUR CHALLENGE
"The veterans TUFF aims to help courageously stepped up to serve our country by volunteering for military service," says TUFF founder and professional fitness training coach Jeff Dordick. "They returned proud but injured and traumatized — physically, mentally and emotionally. Many of these veterans are homeless, without family or a support group. As a preferred alternative to institutionalizing and over-medicating them, TUFF teaches veterans skills that help combat PTSD, depression, anxiety, anger, substance use and other combat-related issues."
Because TUFF currently lacks funding and has no permanent training facility, Jeff — along with his partner Roberta Shorman and other TUFF volunteers — packs up his fitness and boxing equipment and takes the TUFF training program on the road. Working one-on-one with veterans at impromptu, temporarily available sites such as Veterans Administration in the Westside region of Los Angeles, and the Volunteers of America Hollywood Veteran’s Center, Jeff also uses the back yard of his home when no site is available.
"Veterans are desperate for ways to improve their lives. But nobody else is doing what we are trying to do for these deserving souls," says Jeff. “My goal is to devote my 110 percent effort to help them on a full-time basis. But to do that — to give these veterans the help they truly need — we desperately need funds for a permanent gym and more equipment." These veterans need a safe, permanent fitness venue where they can receive the free boxing training and nutrition programs, peer support and military camaraderie that TUFF delivers. You can support these efforts by donating via this GoFundMe site. OUR TEAMTUFF founder and coach Jeff Dordick — together with his partner Roberta Shorman and their daughter Eva — works very hard to “give back” to the men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedoms.
Working one-on-one with thousands of veterans and wounded warriors who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Viet Nam, Jeff, Roberta and other TUFF volunteers help these courageous souls “get their lives back” by teaching them valuable skills in weight-lifting, boxing, fitness, nutrition and self-esteem.
As Jeff sees it, "I am extremely grateful for our U.S. freedoms, which we wouldn’t have if not for the courageous, selfless service of veterans who consequently struggle to get their lives back. Many people thank vets for their service, but the 'gratitude' ends there. We’re working to change that by providing health and fitness programs that actually help veterans in their quest for rehabilitation."
Roberta bolsters the effort with her expertise in nutrition and substance abuse counseling. "We have found that rather than over-medicating or institutionalizing veterans, the cardiovascular conditioning and focused mindset involved in boxing workouts — along with proper nutrition and counseling — helps them overcome anger issues and other PTSD-related health challenges," says Roberta, whose own father experienced heart-wrenching behavioral health issues related to his military service.
Roberta notes that many folks are unaware of how diet affects mood and capacity for resilience. "Add to that the fact that about 93 percent of the veterans we work with struggle with substance abuse issues. So there’s also a great deal of teaching and guidance involved in this work," she says. "We’re inspired by the results we see from teaching them these valuable skills. It's a transformative process and it feels really great to be able to help people in this way."PLEASE DONATE NOW!
We hope our mission, challenge, team, testimonials and research
inspires your support of veterans participating in TUFF (The Unlimited Fitness Foundation), a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.Your contribution will help raise funds desperately needed for a permanent fitness training facility and additional workout equipment for our veterans.All donations are tax deductible. Thank you for helping advance this mission to assist veterans who genuinely need and will greatly appreciate your help.
Please visit the TUFFvets website for testimonials, images, and more information about how we help veterans get their lives back.