The co-founders of Wall Street Rocks, George Chrisafis, Leslie Kirby and James Macedonio, presented a fifty-thousand dollar check at The Sanctuary Hotel to Operation Finally Home’s Executive Director Daniel Vargas and Spokesperson J.R. Martinez on March 26. The donation was made possible thanks to the proceeds collected from Wall Street Rocks’ “Battle of the Bands” contest last year, which ended with a benefit concert on December 2 that Sugar Ray performed at.
James Macedonio, Amber Macedonio, Daniel Vargas, J.R. Martinez, Leslie Kirby, George Chrisafis
Wall Street Rocks, a unique group made up of employees across the financial, technology and entertainment industries, concentrates on reaching out to Americans who selflessly put their lives at risk for the rest of the nation’s well-being, in or outside the country. The organization arranges events year-round, inviting talented musicians and well-known artists to perform. “This year, Wall Street will hold a concert on June 11 commemorating Army week, and a bigger show on November 12, a day after Veterans Day,” said co-founder Macedonio.
The group’s earnings are donated to other non-profits that share the same views as theirs; Reserve Aid and Wounded Warrior Project have been previous beneficiaries. “Donations also come from corporate sponsorships,” said Macedonio. “We look for sponsors that are either Wall Street based or Wall Street related.” Recent sponsors include Hewlett-Packard, Morgan Stanley, Cisco, Maintech and many more.
Operation Finally Home is a non-profit organization with the mission to honor the sacrifices of war veterans coming back home to their families. Recognizing the difficulty of getting back on track with life after emotional or physical disabilities, this non-profit makes it their goal to build 100% mortgage free houses dedicated to the veterans of family households. “We have reached out to twenty-two states, and constructed fifty houses so far,” said Vargas, Director of the Organization. “We are aiming to build seventy more and reach out to more states in the near future.”
J.R. Martinez, who has been part of the Operation Finally Home crew for seven years, has met many of the beneficiaries of the program. “We give this opportunity to veterans who in spite of trauma or disabilities, still want to continue to do good in their lives,” said the spokesperson.
“The impact we make on their lives is just amazing. When you come back injured from war, your spouse becomes your caregiver, having to quit her job. Some of these families can’t live off a disability check forever,” said Martinez. “So we lift a huge burden off this family. For these troops who’ve been scarred or worse, this isn’t just fifty-thousand dollars. This is much more.”
Public recognition for Operation Finally home is slowly building up. In 2010, CNN named Dan Wallrath, founder of the non-profit, among the top 10 heroes of that year, calling him a “Community Crusader.”
“Being here in New York for this is such an opportunity. We can build connections and meet people who could buy into who we are. We’re trying to stay afloat and we’re thankful for what they’ve done for us today,” said Martinez.