Healing Invisible Wounds - 2nd Place Winner in the Purple Tote Bag Story Contest
Our nation has a mental health crisis that rarely makes the news: suicide of our veterans. Given the stress of serving our country — in situations few of us could only tolerate for an hour, let alone endless months and years — our nation’s veterans are far more likely to commit suicide. It’s time to erase the stigma, to talk and to act.
The American Soldier Network began the Show Your SOUL Donate Your SOLES project to bring assistance to veterans dealing with emotional and psychological battles like post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, homelessness, unemployment, and reintegration. All of these factors makes veterans vulnerable to suicide.
All kinds of gently worn pairs of shoes are collected and bagged for the Show Your SOUL Donate your SOLES project. The donated shoes are then collected and transported to third world countries for people in need. For every pound of shoes donated, the American Soldier Network earns .40 cents. In three years running, the American Soldier Network has collected over 30,000 pounds of shoes for the impoverished and raised over $12,000 for the charity. People living in poverty get shoes, our landfills are cleaner and money is raised for our heroes at home — everyone wins. In a given year the charity’s work touches over 900 veterans and military.
As a salute to our own FedEx hero, Major Brian Wheeler of the Arkansas National Guard, FedEx Customer Solutions team raised 115 bags of shoes for the Show Your SOUL Donate Your SOLES project. With a tour of duty taking him to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom I, Major Wheeler has been in the National Guard for 30-plus years and with FedEx for more than 15 years.
Thank you, Major Brian Wheeler, for your service and thank you, American Soldier Network, for taking care of our veterans. It is our honor to contribute to this worthy cause.
To learn more about FedEx Cares programs please click here: http://fedexcares.com/about-fedex-cares