If You’re a Sheep Dog, Get Off the Couch and into Life
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance was founded by Marine Sgt Maj Lance Nutt in 2010. It’s not your average nonprofit – it’s made up of military, Law Enforcement, EMS, and Fire, and it’s set up to help other Sheep Dogs like them who are injured in the line of duty… people who rarely ever ask for help.
Once a Sheep Dog, always a Sheep Dog
After a particularly hard combat deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004, SgtMaj Nutt returned home. But in 2005, in that lull before his next deployment, Hurricane Katrina hit the southern United States with a vengeance. Watching the disaster on television, and the government’s lack of proper response, this Marine had to do something, anything.
He assembled a group of friends, filled a truck and trailer with supplies, and headed off with the intent to help the victims of Katrina in New Orleans. Along the way, they heard that the people in Pass Christian, Mississippi had no help whatsoever, so they changed plans and headed there.
For 3 days, they helped everyone they could, and were totally exhausted by the time they left. Exhausted, but satisfied that they did what they could for the citizens in need. It sparked something deep inside them.
After another two combat tours, SgtMaj Nutt is currently serving as the SgtMaj for the 23rd Marine Regiment in California. But if you think he plans to lie around on the couch when he retires, you’d be wrong. Once a Marine, always a Marine…once a sheep dog, always a sheep dog.
He searched for an organization that fit him but could not find one, so he started the SDIA. Since then they have grown from 4 people to 5,000, with 18 teams and chapters nationwide.
The organization has several prongs: Disaster Relief, which is how the organization began, and Outdoor Adventures. The programs are designed to help those injured in the line of duty by giving them a place of service and the camaraderie of like-minded people.
“We challenge Sheep Dogs in need that we sponsor 12 times per year. The Quad of 4 is a motivational tool used to get them to do at least 4 events of the 12. Some of those might be an adventure race like the Tough Mudder or the Spartan Race, a hunt, a scuba diving event, and sky diving. We show them that the best feeling is to pay it forward and identify others who need our help.” SgtMaj Lance Nutt
Annually they also hold a “Turkey Trot” at Thanksgiving, and a Charity Ball, the next of which will be held on April 22, 2017.
The group also assists those in need at Thanksgiving by providing meals, and at Christmas with a “wish list” for children who have needs.
“We give them a “wish list” and pick toys for them, and clothing as needed. We use word of mouth, and social media networks like Facebook to find deserving families.”
Anyone can volunteer to go with them on their disaster relief endeavors, and races or hunts, and other events. Those in need will have their way fully funded, others must pay their own way.
The organization primarily finds people who need them by word of mouth. They are men and women whose purpose in life is to help others. If you are a Sheep Dog, you know what that means.
Featured picture is from SDIA Facebook page of a Spartan Race.