Reciprocity Road, a buying group with a philanthropic focus, has announced the fourth recipient of its BrandGood Give Back Contest. A new philanthropic initiative from Reciprocity Road, BrandGood empowers employees to support their favorite causes through quarterly donations.
Bridget Ray, sales coordinator at Brand Fuel and BrandGood Ambassador, said the initiative’s goal is simple.
“BrandGood is a motivator of acts of kindness and giving back to causes that matter to our staff members,” Ray says. “During the hustle and bustle of the work day, BrandGood is a reminder of what matters most in this life.”
Each quarter, BrandGood Ambassadors from the eight Reciprocity Road distributorships review stories and photos submitted by their colleagues. Of the eight submissions received in the fourth quarter of 2018, the BrandGood team selected Vets for Veterans to receive a donation of $500.
Vets 4 Veterans is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to empowering local veterans who are suffering the physical and psychological wounds of war to successfully reintegrate into the life of the community. Vets 4 Veterans was founded by a group of Vietnam combat veterans who were attending a PTSD therapy group at the Antelope Valley Vet Center.
“We learned through our own healing process that staying busy, doing good, and helping others was helping us. We learned the meaning and the action of the word altruism.”
“We learned through our own healing process that staying busy, doing good, and helping others was helping us. We learned the meaning and the action of the word altruism,” says Tom Hilzendeger, Vets 4 Veterans president.
Kevin Sanders of Made to Order who submitted Vets 4 Veterans’ application, says, “To me, a veteran is anyone past or present who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life. It warms my heart deeply when I see a community, a business association, or government agency reach out to help our veterans. We truly appreciate the support from all the members of Reciprocity Road!”
Kevin’s full submission is below:
I am involved with Vets 4 Veterans because they do more for local veterans in need than anyone else I’ve ever met. 100% of money raised goes directly to help local veterans. All officers, members, and volunteers donate their time to this honorable charity because we see how much it helps veterans who don’t have anyone else to turn to. Our founder and president Tom Hilzendeger is a Vietnam vet who has learned to deal with the experiences he had there and has developed programs to help other veterans do the same. We provide counseling, classes, group activities, transportation, scholarships and financial aid to local vets in need.
One local veteran who was an officer in the war couldn’t find work when he returned home so decided to go back to Kabul Afghanistan as a civilian. After 2 years there, he once again returned home in late 2017 to find his wife wanting a divorce. He became instantly homeless and penniless. He had nothing but the cash in his pocket, a car, and a cell phone. A hero, a warrior, sleeping in his car with nowhere to go and no one to help him. Heartbreaking. He heard about Vets 4 Veterans and in desperation made the call. We provided him with some money and a few days lodging while looking for a more permanent solution. At least he had some food and a warm bed. But most importantly, he had hope.
Fast forward one year, that man is now a federal police officer, has settled his divorce amicably, is stable and re-acclimated into society. He has his own apartment and a girlfriend. I see him volunteering and giving back often to help others. You see, I know this story firsthand because this man lived in my house for that year. We became close friends. I’m proud of who he is today and how far he’s come. Having been on two deployments during my four years as a Marine, and 6 years during the war as a civilian in the Middle East and Europe, I knew what is was like to return home to a home that was not as I left it. I spent a lot of time with him, I watched him closely, I listened to him, shared stories, and we did lots of activities together. Sometimes all we need is a friend to reach out and help us.
In July 2018, I put together an outdoor event for veterans that was very successful.
In Sept. 2018, we closed escrow on a house that will become a transition home for 2 single homeless veterans or one veteran family who has the need and desire to get back on their feet.
Everyone at Reciprocity Road wishes Vets 4 Veterans future success. We also encourage all employees of Reciprocity Road distributors to submit non-profit candidates here.