John Cena to Match up to $1M in Donations to FitOps Foundation

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John Cena is not only one of the fittest people in the world, he’s also one of the most generous. The WWE Superstar and actor has granted close to 600 Make-A-Wish requests, more than any other celebrity. He now has a new cause: help U.S. Military veterans find a new purpose as personal trainers in an effort to lower the suicide rate among our servicemen and women.

Cena told Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show that he will match every donation, up to $1 million, that’s made to FitOps Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting veterans after they end their service, from Sept. 30 until Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

“These are men and women who have served our country,” Cena said. “Twenty of these people every day commit suicide, and FitOps wants to take that number down to zero.” To donate to FitOps, visit FitOps.org. “I want to not only be active in this charity, but I want to call you to action to donate,” Cena told the audience and those watching Ellen’s show at home. The organization helps veterans find new purpose through fitness by certifying them as elite personal trainers. Each veteran gets nine weeks of online courses in anatomy and exercise physiology, three weeks of in-person training, and job placement assistance. 

Founder of the FitOps Foundation Matt Hesse, a veteran himself who is also founder and CEO of Performix, underlined the importance of supporting those veterans who find it hard to readjust to civilian life. “The donations we raise will make an enormous difference – with it, we will be able to reach more veterans – offering training, education, counseling, support and mentorship,” he said. “Veterans exiting service face unbelievable challenges that most of the civilian world doesn’t understand: a loss of sense of purpose and mission, daily drive, routine and being part of a larger mission and team. This is what we aim to replace through the FitOps program.”

Cena’s appearance on The Ellen Show wasn’t all serious. He also discussed his childhood, as well as his bodybuilding days. The 16-time WWE Champion was shown a picture of him at a bodybuilding show. “There is not much material there,” he said referring to his lack of clothes, “and I appear to have fallen into a bucket of paint.”  He also said he was living out of his car at that time and was homeless. He’s come a long way since then, and it’s good to see that he’s using his fame and fortune to promote and support good causes like FitOps. 

The FitOps Foundation got another major boost when global health and wellness brand GNC announced a $200,000 donation to the cause. Additionally, GNC loyalty members who donate to FitOps through Nov. 20 will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a VIP experience with Cena at the Performix House in New York City. Customers can donate at their nearest GNC store, or at gnc.com/fitops.html

“GNC is proud to support such a great organization that is doing its part in helping our veterans find purpose in civilian life through fitness,” Ryan Ostrom, chief brand officer of GNC Holdings, Inc., said in a press release. “As a brand that has encouraged people for more than 80 years to live well, we cannot think of a better way to kick off the season of giving than with a fundraiser that goes toward these life-changing fitness programs. In addition to our financial support, we will work with FitOps to make graduates aware of GNC opportunities to put their new skills to use.”

“It’s great to see a brand like GNC helping people live healthier lives, and I’m thankful they’re getting behind our veterans and FitOps, as well as giving their customers a chance to get involved,” Cena said in a statement. “The pledge will have a huge impact, and the sweepstakes will help get us to our goal of raising a million dollars that I will match. I’m looking forward to thanking and meeting the winner in New York City.”

Click here to help John Cena by donating to FitOps.


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