This Wednesday, America took a moment of pause to recognize, celebrate and honor the 17.4 million veterans living in the U.S. today. Among the many campaigns and events celebrating Veterans Day this week, a few companies stood out with distinct actions to support retired troops. Given the high number of veterans facing homelessness, hunger and mental health issues – and now increasing rates of COVID-19 – these measures couldn’t have come soon enough. Here are examples of those companies that contributed to veteran programs where they are needed the most:
- Coffee giant Maxwell House created an awareness campaign around the fact that 4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. In addition to creating awareness, it is financing mortgage-free homes for vets and their families. Maxwell House has already donated $200,000 as part of a two-year program with the house-building nonprofit Operation Finally Home to ensure that these numbers are trending downward.
- After years in the military, transitioning to civilian life can be an uphill battle for many veterans. Smithfield Foods is addressing this with its new Helping Our Heroes This program focuses on the adjustment of veterans into everyday working life through hiring, retention and education programs for veterans and their spouses. The company has also expanded their internal goals to prioritize working with veteran-owned businesses.
- With only half of veterans receiving essential mental health treatment, Boeing is working towards closing that gap. This Veterans Day, the company announced a $14 million donation of local grants that will support veterans, and specifically their mental health, in their own communities. This is part of an ongoing commitment by Boeing that has resulted in a total of $41.6 million in funding for veteran programs since 2017.
In the past, companies may have recognized a holiday or moment in time through a general donation – but 2020 has highlighted the importance of giving to areas of acute concern. The companies today demonstrate how brands can use their resources to support a cause in diverse and targeted ways. As we continue to help our most vulnerable, it’s important to understand all aspects of the problem to ensure targeted support is going where it’s needed most.