The international expansion of Activision's Call of Duty Endowment initiative has seen $60,000 awarded to two UK charities.
The RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded are the first UK recipients of the Call of Duty Endowment Seal of Distinction. Receiving the seal involves meeting a strict criteria in terms of helping war veterans find employment. Deloitte helped with the vetting process, and the winners each received a $30,000 unrestricted grant and the opportunity to apply for additional funding, advice, and support.
The Endowment is partly funded by the sale of in-game items in Call of Duty. The latest game (WWII) has the Bravery Pack DLC, which included an in-game helmet, card and emblem. All proceeds go to the Endowment.
The Endowment was first set up in the US and was designed to help fund organisations so that they can place 25,000 veterans in jobs by the end of 2018. That goal was met by the end of 2016, and now the aim is to help 50,000 veterans by the end of 2019. In total, £17 million in grants have been made via the Seal of Distinction initiative (which was set up in August 2013), and Activision Blizzard has donated over £20 million to the project overall.
"Meaningful employment is the single most important way to ensure that service members successfully transition back to civilian life," said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. "The Seal of Distinction recognises RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity and Walking With The Wounded as go-to organisations for veterans seeking high-quality jobs, and models for veteran-serving organisations to emulate."
The RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity was set up in 1885, and offers career advice and jobs for ex-forces members. Walking With The Wounded was set-up in 2010 and is specifically aimed at vulnerable veterans, helping them re-integrate with society.
"We're delighted to be one of the first recipients of The Call of Duty Endowment in the UK," said Stephen Gledhill, CEO of RFEA. "The Forces Employment Charity, said RFEA supported 20,000 ex-forces personnel last year, providing tailored employment advice and helping them find work suited to the skills and experience of a military career. With the help of the Endowment we'll be able to reach even more people who need our skills in finding meaningful employment for those who have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces."
Edward Parker, Co-Founder and CEO of Walking With The Wounded added: "We are hugely honoured to receive this recognition and the award. Since the inception of the Endowment, we have seen the positive impact and influence it has made in the US for ex-service personnel, and I'm delighted that, as result of this expansion to the UK, now British ex-servicemen and women will also benefit from such support. This award means a great deal to the work we do, and we know what a great difference it will make."