Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, is nearly upon us. Here are a few cause marketing partnerships/activities focused on veterans that have stood the test of time:
- Sears/Rebuilding Together: Heroes At Home
- Golden Corral/Disabled American Veterans (DAV): Military Appreciation Monday (& more)
- Sports Clips Haircuts/VFW: Help A Hero
- Multiple Corporate Partners/The Foundation For Hospital Art: VA Hospital PaintFests & PaintFest Kits
SEARS & REBUILDING TOGETHER: HEROES AT HOME
The Sears Heroes At Home program has raised over $15.3 million and provided the support of over 5,000 dedicated volunteers since the program’s inception in 2007. In partnership with Rebuilding Together*, Heroes At Home addresses urgent needs of veterans and their families by creating safe, livable, and accessible homes. This successful strategic partnership earned Sears a Cause Marketing Forum Halo Award in 2008 and is still going strong. Army Specialist Ryan C. Majors was the first beneficiary of this incredible program. Unfortunately, Sergeant Majors’ lost both of his legs in service to his country. Needless to say, there were a lot of adjustments to be made upon his return home, including costly updates to make his home accessible. Thanks to Heroes At Home, Sergeant Majors’ brothers no longer have to carry him up a flight of stairs to help him enter his home. Other important improvements made to the home include widening of doorways to enable wheel chair access as well as the addition of a roll-in shower.
On October 5th, Sears and Rebuilding Together announced the winners of “Operation Rebuild for Heroes at Home,” a social media contest that gave Facebook users the chance to support military members in need. The program awarded $250,000 in grants across 25 projects. The winner of the largest grant based on a majority of online votes was the Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, N.Y. affiliate which will receive a $20,000 grant from Sears’ Heroes at Home program to help renovate the Guardian House of Ballston Spa, N.Y., which supports homeless female veterans.
On October 17, 2011, First Lady Michele Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined Sears and Rebuilding Together volunteers (video) in making improvements to a deserving veteran’s home while celebrating the Heroes At Home program’s 1000th home milestone.
To paraphrase First Lady Obama: While the accomplishments of this program have been great thus far, there is still so much work to be done! Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Support the Heroes At Home Wish Registry which funds gift cards to veterans (over $4 million was raised in 2010)
Download this Josh Gracin song to generate a donation
Post a best wishes holiday message to military families
Like the Heroes At Home Facebook page to stay informed and share with friends
GOLDEN CORRAL/DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS (DAV): MILITARY APPRECIATION MONDAY (& MORE)
If all that talk of rebuilding has made you as hungry as me, your next move should be to mosey on over to your local Golden Corral on November 14th for Military Appreciation Monday. For more than 10 years, Golden Corral has supported America’s veterans with its “Military Appreciation Monday” event. In fact, it has raised over $5,000,000 for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and served almost 3 million thank you meals to veterans. On this special occasion, veterans eat free and other diners are encouraged to make a donation to DAV. In 2010, over $1 million was raised in one evening.
To continue to honor those who served our country, Golden Corral has also created a summer camp for children of wounded or disabled military families. Camp Corral provides a fun and developmental experience that will help to improve the often challenging lives of those children who live with wounded or disabled military families. An experience at Camp Corral is a memory that will last a lifetime. Kids have a chance to create friendships and bond with other kids who share in the same unique situation of having a wounded or disabled parent. Through this camp experience, Golden Corral honors these kids as they have honored their parents.
On May 29th, 2011 Golden Corral Restaurants and the Disabled American Veterans organization teamed up to present the 22nd annual National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Co-hosted by actor Gary Sinise and Joe Montegna, this award-winning concert was the premier memorial service for the United States Military, honoring those who have made sacrifices or given their lives, as well as honoring returning wounded and their families. The concert was simultaneously broadcast to nearly 1 million U.S. troops worldwide via PBS and American Forces Radio and TV services.
SPORTS CLIPS HAIRCUTS/VFW: HELP A HERO
One of the many tremendous sacrifices made by our troops is being away from their families for long periods of time. Sports Clips Haircuts brings home a little closer to our nation’s heroes each holiday season and throughout the year.
For the fifth straight year, Sport Clips Haircuts is helping make phone calls home possible for deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members through our “Help a Hero” campaign, benefiting the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Operation Uplink™*. Beginning October 17 through November 13, Sport Clips locations nationwide will be taking donations to continue to provide service members with free phone time once a month and on holidays throughout the year.
Since 2007, Sports Clips has raised more than three-quarters of a million dollars for Help a Hero through company and client donations, making more than 1.3 million calls possible for U.S. service members. Visit a Sport Clips location near you to make a donation to Help a Hero and give the priceless gift of free calls home to our nation’s heroes. In addition, you can make your cut count on November 11, Veterans Day, when Sports Clips will donate $1 from every hair care service given to Help a Hero.
MULTIPLE CORPORATE PARTNERS/THE FOUNDATION FOR HOSPITAL ART: VA HOSPITAL PAINTFESTS & PAINTFEST KITS
Looking for an activity to support the troops that a little more artsy? Try painting patriotic artwork for veterans. The Foundation for Hospital Art’s mission is to give comfort and hope to those who suffer in hospitals by providing artwork at no cost to hospitals. As an individual, community group, or corporation you can create an American Eagle (or other designs) multiple-canvas painting and donate it to a VA Hospital to brighten up the space and offer comfort to patients, families and hospital staff.
NO ARTISTIC EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY 🙂The artwork is pre-drawn and color-coded for you – so simple!
Corporations love this turn-key team-building and community outreach event which can be scaled as needed and held anywhere. The cause marketing benefits include P.R., relationship building, and brand acknowledgement in the hospital setting.
Here, the NFL’s Detroit Lions painted an “American Eagle” Foundation for Hospital Art PaintingFest Kit with veterans in the John Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit.
I hope this sampling of cause marketing opportunities to support veterans and their families will inspire you as an individual or an organization to give thanks and appreciation to the brave troops serving our country.
*For Momentum client or previous client.