Partnerships for a Good Cause at East Carolina University


Social responsibility is important — for individuals, small businesses and maybe even your recreation center. The ability to “give back,” whether it’s in terms of a donation, an event or fundraising efforts builds up part of the ethical framework that an organization morally may feel the need to oblige.

This past summer, East Carolina University (ECU) has had two events to benefit a cause that is very dear to their university in closeness to both heart, and proximity; with the locale of the university being in a place that is known for being very military/veteran heavy.

So, what is this cause? The Wounded Warrior Project; which is an organization with a mission to honor and empower wounded warriors, with efforts in striving to connect warriors to their peers, serve them through life-changing programs and empower them to live their lives to the fullest.

“We were approached by the Wounded Warrior Project last November,” said Chad Baker, leadership and team training specialist at ECU. “A past student ended up working for them, and knew of the opportunity we had here at ECU. So, they came and visited, we showed them our courses, talked about what we could do as far as the local river here, and they liked what they saw. So we started to plan what we could do for them [as far as an outline looks like].”

The ongoing partnership is continuing with seven more events scheduled on their calendar. Assistant Director of Adventure Leadership, Adrienne Fike, said that the retreat they put on for the Wounded Warrior Project is an “awesome opportunity.”

“Most of our staff are students, and it’s nice for them to get to work with a population they’ve essentially never worked with, and it’s also just such a great way for us to reach out to such an important organization [because we are so military heavy in this area], it’s nice for us to be able to give back,” she added.

The three-day retreat had the first day dedicated to doing courses, letting the warriors focus on getting to know one another and building relationships to help them throughout the rest of their time there. “It showed them the similarities they had between each other, showed them that there are other people they can relate to,” said Baker.

The second day’s focus? Mindfulness. “We did a roughly 3-to 4-hour long trip on the river, that was focused on mindfulness and reflection, and just really a day to have a nice relaxing time, doing an activity some of them have never been able to do before,” said Fike. “We were talking to the female warriors, and some of them haven’t been out in months, and we had the opportunity to take them on the river, to be out in nature, and to have that time to relax, decompress, to get that separation that they might need.”

A presentation of their project can be found here:


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