On Veterans Day, we take time to honor those who have sacrificed for our country and freedom. For our VETS employee resource group (ERG), that service extends throughout the year to give back to veterans in our community.
One of the ways our VETS group has consistently given back is through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. They started working with the group in 2018 when they were contacted to help with some ramp projects for veterans. Over the years, over 30 volunteers have helped with projects for veterans, including ramp builds and removals, porch repairs, and helping with finishing work on home builds.
“Veterans by definition provide service to causes greater than ourselves,” says Gary Tanner, senior engineering technician. “When we transition out of military life, continuing to serve others and provide assistance to our veteran brothers and sisters is not only a priority, It’s also therapeutic! In the military, we never leave anyone behind on the field of battle and that remains true when we return home.”
“With the Habitat Critical repair program, veterans in need can stave off unexpected financial hardships while maintaining a safe and secure home,” he says. “Volunteering to assist Habitat helps keep labor costs down allowing Habitat to help more veteran families in need. When veterans help other veterans, the assistance feels more like a hand up instead of a handout, which make it easier to accept and more likely that they will reach out for help.”
Habitat for Humanity has been working extensively in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit for over 15 years, where they’ve built or rehabbed 150 homes in the neighborhood for families in need.
“Habitat for Humanity Detroit has included serving our area veterans as a cornerstone of our programming,” says Mary Ellen Kearney, Director of Philanthropy, Habitat for Humanity Detroit. “These individuals, who have given of themselves to serve our country, are so deserving of any assistance we can provide them. When we have volunteer groups come out to work on projects it shows not only Habitat Detroit support but also community support for our military men and women. Taking it a step further, when we have groups of veterans who have already served our country now join us as volunteers to serve their community it is a truly inspiring reminder of the heroes we have living beside us every day here in Wayne County and beyond.”
“Our ERGs are a great way for employees to not only connect with others from around the company, but with groups in our communities,” says Stephanie Stevenson, manager, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “The VETS group is a place where veterans and family members can receive support and find meaningful ways to give back to the community.”