Wounded Warrior Outdoors Inc., a non-profit organization that provides outdoor-related opportunities to wounded U.S. and Canadian veterans, has launched a new fundraising campaign: One for the Troops.
The fundraiser encourages self-storage operators around the country to donate the proceeds from any size self-storage unit to Wounded Warrior Outdoors. Operators can commit to a single month or make it an ongoing donation, and can choose any size unit.
“This is a wonderful charity and will really help these veterans,” said Mel Holsinger, president of Professional Self Storage Management LLC. Holsinger also owns Midway Mini Storage in Show Low, Ariz. He’s committed to donate the proceeds from the rental of one 5-by-10 unit for one year to the cause.
Since launching in January, founder Ron Raboud has redirected the charity’s goals. Initially launched to honor veterans injured while serving in the military, the organization has since taken on a bigger role in each veteran’s recovery. Raboud is now working with each veteran’s rehabilitation team to create therapeutic goals for the veteran.
“These trips can be designed to help the veterans get the equivalent of three months of the therapy they’d receive in a hospital setting,” said Raboud, CEO of The Rabco Corp., which provides pre-engineered metal buildings for the self-storage industry.
“This is a great charity self-storage operators can really stand behind,” added Troy Bix, publisher of Inside Self-Storage, a provider of self-storage publications, tradeshows, education and online forums. “The donation from just one unit can really make an impact on these soldiers’ lives.”
Wounded Warrior Outdoors covers all the expenses for the veterans’ trips, including airfare, ground transportation, food and lodging. The goal is to provide outdoor trips for up to 50 veterans every year as funding allows. The trips take place at four diverse locations, including Alaska, Florida and Texas in the States, and British Columbia, Canada.
To find the right candidates, Raboud works with the patient-advocate representative at two U.S. military hospitals: Brooke Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Veteran applications are screened and verified by Walter Reed Army Medical Center, then forwarded to Wounded Warrior Outdoors for final selection.
Since launching in January, Wounded Warrior Outdoors has achieved 501(C)(3) status, making all contributions tax-deductible. “This is so much more than just an outdoor trip for these guys,” Holsinger said. “We’re providing them a channel that will aid in their recovery.”