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True Crime Podcast Host John Allen Launches Nonprofit To Help Families Of Crime Victims.

YouTube creator John Allen, better known to listeners as MrBallen, expanded into audio earlier this year when he launched MrBallen Podcast: Strange, Dark and Mysterious Stories in February. It has become one of the most listened-to true crime shows on Spotify. Now the former Navy SEAL who was medically retired in 2017 after being injured in Afghanistan, is launching the MrBallen Foundation to honor victims and support families of violent crimes through education, training and financial support.

"I've had the honor of speaking with both victims and their loved ones, spending countless hours hearing their stories, learning, and researching how these criminal cases have dramatically impacted their lives," said Allen. "It is my hope that the MrBallen Foundation can be a valuable resource to aiding both victims and their families through financial support, as well as providing training, educational resources, and a pathway to give back,” he said in the announcement.

Each quarter the MrBallen Foundation Honor Grant Program will award a financial grant up to $25,000 to a not-for-profit group that supports victims or their families who have been affected by a heinous crime. The inaugural recipient is the LOVE>hate Project, an organization founded by the family of a victim of violent crime and dedicated to ending violence against women.

Over the last 60 days, the MrBallen Foundation has already donated more than $150,000 to several other organizations, including OneStar and Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, two Texas-based organizations working to provide direct relief for the victims of the recent tragedy in Uvalde and their families.

“We were just setting up our foundation, The McBallen Foundation, when the news broke on May 24th that 19 children and 2 teachers had been killed in a school shooting in Uvalde Texas,” said Allen. “As parents of three young kids, my wife and I cannot even imagine the pain the families of these victims are facing. It made sense that our first grant from the MrBallen Foundation would go to the Uvalde families—along with our prayers for strength and healing."

In addition to providing funding to organizations, the MrBallen Foundation will also provide expedited financial assistance to victims and their families directly through their Hope Grant program. Knowing that time is of the essence for so many victims and their families, this grant program is meant to be responsive to the immediate needs of those impacted by a heinous crime.

The MrBallen Foundation Board includes members with backgrounds in law, philanthropy and crime victim advocacy, including the Foundation’s Executive Director, Laurie Gift. As a victim of crime herself, Gift has made it her life’s work to serve as a champion for those most vulnerable in today’s society.

“I know that John and the MrBallen team feel the same way as I do about serving victims of heinous crimes and their families,” said Gift. “I believe strongly that anything is possible through authenticity, transparency, and collaboration, and I’m so proud to be a part of an organization like the MrBallen Foundation that aligns with these values.”

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