At the age of 20 years old, Consuella (Connie) Mackey, hair stylist and fashion designer had an accident and broke her foot and was incapacitated for a period of time. She soon realized the challenges and everyday difficulties people with disabilities face; including discrimination, inaccessible facilities like few or no curb cuts, paths, and entryways, public restrooms, housing, job training, employment opportunities, professional grooming services such as salons.
Connie also saw how many times society excluded people with disabilities from the mainstream lifestyle. After feeling sorry for herself, she decided to do something in a proactive way to make a positive difference while addressing these issues. She began researching, making phone calls and writing letters to entities across the nation. No opportunities were to be found in her profession so she offered her services in the beauty and fashion industry with accessible entryways for people with physical disabilities.
Operation Confidence was founded a year later on October 2, 1980. It quickly grew to include job preparation workshops, career fairs, employment opportunities, community outreach and diversity training for individuals with physical disabilities.
In recent years "Operation Confidence" felt the need to assist our disabled and wounded Veterans after witnessing an encampment of Veterans living in their wheelchairs on the streets of Skid row. Some were stilling wearing parts left of their military uniform while proudly displaying pieces of the American flag.
Operation Confidence goal is to obtain an house located on the outskirts of Los Angeles donated to the organization. Once rehabbed , with community support the house would open to provide comfortable stable living with resources and services for Veterans with a disability.
Several events and fundraisers have taken place throughout the years to raise awareness and funds to open and operate Operation Turning Point Housing Program for Veterans who are disabled and homeless.
In 2009 ,Operation Confidence hosted Mega Job Fair, a one week resource and job fair held on the campus of 4 community colleges, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Valley College, West Los Angeles College and El Camino College.
In 2010 and 2011, Operation Confidence hosted "United We Serve, A Tribute to Our Disabled Veterans". on the grounds of the Los Angeles Sports Arena. All branches of the military participated and 120 vendors.
On April 22, 2012, "Operation Confidence" had its grand opening for Handi Crafts Working Boutique for wounded and disabled veterans. This small business was established to create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for Veterans with a disability .
2014, conducted a women veterans dress for success/ job preparation workshops and fashion show for CalVet Stand Down held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In 2016, Operation Confidence hosted a “Tribute To Disabled Veterans “ aboard the Queen Mary, Veterans Day. Disabled veterans from the World War ll, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan era were honored. The event also raised awareness about the urgent need to get homeless disabled veterans off the streets of Los Angeles .
2017, Operation Confidence hosted "A Tribute To Our Disabled Veterans" at the Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills, CA. The Honorable Brig. General Ruth Wong (ret) Executive Director Los Angeles County Veterans Affairs was the keynote speaker. Other distinguished guest speakers were Congressman Brad Sherman (rep), State Controller Betty Yee (rep) Assemblyman Dante Acosta (rep), Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Battalion Chief Steven Ruda, Police Captain Bryan Lium, Commanding Officer Los Angeles Police Department and Judge Herbert Dodell, board member, to name a few.
On February 28, 2018, Operation Confidence hosted a Meet & Greet fundraiser reception . Admiral Rear Sandy Adams (ret) and former Councilwoman Jan Perry were guest speakers. The event took place at the Los Angeles City Club sponsored by Union Bank.
On October 19, 2018, Operation Confidence will host another fundraiser aboard the Carnival Cruise Line, "Proud To Be A Veteran" a 3-day cruise to Baja, Mexico
All proceeds go to Operation Confidence Turning Point Housing Program building fund .
Adell Burrell is a founding member Operation Confidence. She has 23 years at Southern California College of Optometry as Executive Administrator where many of the patients were veterans.
She has an Arts Degree in Business Administration, is an accomplished music director where her expertise helped to create and choreographed Operation Confidence Totally Confident Disabled Fashion Models. The group used the beauty industry as a form of rehabilitation to help build confidence and self-esteem in individuals with disabilities.
With her background as a radio and talk show host and Business Administration, she helped to create Operation Confidence Dress For Success Program, where students with a disability and limited range of motion were taught professional grooming skills for the workplace, job preparation with mock interviewing workshops and more.
Served in the US Air Force in both ground and airborne electronic surveillance.
He is also a service-connected disabled veteran who has spent 15 years serving homeless, addicted and incarcerated veterans.
Matt has been awarded the Assoc. Vietnam Veterans of America Member of the year award, Chapel of Four Chaplains humanitarian award and VietNow
award, where he was Chairman of the Veterans Incarcerated Committee.