Friday, October 20th, 2017 by Holly Richards-Purpura
I am proud to work for a company that focuses on remarkable experiences, believes that more is possible, and has a clear mission and purpose.
Ohio Basement Authority’s mission is as follows: “To establish Ohio Basement Authority as Ohio’s most reliable and respected company. We strive to provide a high level of WOW customer service to each other and our customers by conducting our business in an honest manner with the highest level of integrity.”
What this really boils down to simply is people helping people – our customers, our teammates and our community.
Earlier this week, I had the honor of being among the 14 Ohio Basement Authority teammates who united to lend our helping hands to the community, specifically our veteran community. We volunteered at the Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down, which was held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
In its 23rd year, Stand Down serves as a one stop shop for veterans to gain access to food, clothing, and medical care, as well as assistance with housing, employment and many more services. The motto of the event is “a hand up not a hand out.” Along with 85 service agencies and numerous donors and sponsors, Stand Down relies on the 250 volunteers like us to make sure the veterans get the help they need and deserve.
This was the third year Ohio Basement Authority employees have volunteered our time, and it means a lot to me personally to stay involved and continue this tradition each year. I think of my grandfathers who served and were lucky to return home and lead successful lives. I regret that I did not discuss their military experiences with them before they passed away. It’s bittersweet, but I proudly have some of their service medals and the flags that adorned their caskets on display at home.
So many veterans, like the more than 500 guests at this year’s Stand Down, have fallen on hard times and might not have access to life’s essentials. It’s heartbreaking to see, given what these men and women have endured so that we may live free. But it’s heartwarming to know that they have somewhere to turn, and that so many people have united to extend a hand to lift them up.
We have many veterans on our staff, and I was glad several of them devoted some of their day to this volunteer effort. I could see it in their eyes and in their actions that this was just as impactful for them as it was for the veterans in attendance. Dave Wirtz, who served in the United States Marine Corps, helped veterans in the free clothing area, and he said he was pleased to see the vets obtaining clothes needed for the cold winter months.
The material essentials like clothing are important, but some veterans also just need a little interaction and a caring smile. It was almost the end of the day and I was stationed at one of the food counters dishing out vegetables and rice as part of the lunch. I met one gentleman named Anthony who served in the United States Coast Guard. He was very chatty and quite the jokester. I could see his conversation with me and other volunteers warmed his heart and made his day. The feeling was mutual.
I left the convention center with my teammates feeling energized and fulfilled by the good work we did. And I can’t wait to do it all again next year!
For more information about the Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down, go to www.centralohiostanddown.org.
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