Mission 500 is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis in the U.S. The organization advocates for children and families in crisis, inspires and acts as a catalyst in the security industry for excellence in corporate social responsibility, and mobilizes volunteers and resources to make a difference for children and families living in poverty in the U.S. 

Mission 500 partners with numerous associations including Title 1 schools, Habitat for Humanity, The Refuge, the New York Fire Department Burn Center Foundation and many more. Since its 501(c)(3) status in 2016, Mission 500, along with security industry leaders and volunteers, has helped produce more than 340,000 meals, assemble care packs filled with essential hygiene items for 3,700 families and distribute more than 11,500 book bags with school supplies to students attending Title One schools. Recently, Mission 500 also collaborated with Feeding America, U.S. hunger relief organization, to provide meals to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Mission 500 hosts various awards, such as the Corporate Social Responsibility Award, designed to honor companies in the security industry who make important contributions to those in need; the Humanitarian Award, designed to honor individuals in the security industry and their respective contributions toward social causes; and the Innovative Partner Award.

“Every organization, school, child and family we have been able to help makes a difference. We can honestly say that each hand we have given seems like the first time – that feeling resonates with each and every trip, event, run, walk we have done,” says Ken Gould, Chairman of the Board. “Volunteers are the lifeline to Mission 500, and we greatly depend on them to help bring new ideas and donations all year long. We appreciate the countless hours they put in and their dedication.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mission 500 members have taken to creating events on a virtual platform. “Families and children in need cannot take a back seat during the current pandemic, so we are doing things differently this year to help maintain the work of Mission 500. Our focus is still strong, and this new virtual reality is something we will leverage to the fullest extent,” says Gould. 

In June, for instance, the organization launched the M500 Club, an initiative designed to help Mission 500 continue with its charitable work during the pandemic by directly engaging individuals with virtual events. M500 Club features virtual 5k run/walks, cycling (spinning) events, talent shows, karaoke sing-offs, buzz and shaving challenges, basketball shooting contests and more. 

Despite the challenges charities around the world are experiencing due to the widespread cancellation of events, Mission 500 is pushing the envelope wherever possible. With golf having been earmarked as a safe recreational event during the pandemic, Mission 500 is staging the M500 Golf Challenge in New Jersey on September 21st. Sponsors and players are invited to support the event. And with ISC West now a virtual event, the annual Mission 500 5K/2K has also gone virtual. Information on both events is available at www.Mission500.org.