While the country honors people who’ve served in the military on Veterans Day, a Missouri company is helping to gift a “smart home” for a triple amputee veteran.
Employees of Columbia based Veterans United Home Loans participated in a silent auction which raised $44,000 toward building a residence for a Navy veteran. Those workers placed bids on guitars signed by artists who performed during the first concert season at Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach,Virginia.
The company’s Lauren Karr says the venue’s line-up of 18 acts was impressive. “It was a huge first season” said Karr. “Dave Matthews Band, Goo-Goo Dolls, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Dixie Chicks, Dierks Bentley…I could keep going. They had an incredible season all summer.”
Karr notes the firm’s 2,100 employees had an opportunity to take part in an auction of the guitars. “Just seeing the outcome and how many different employees took part in this was pretty awesome. To raise more than $44,000 in a week, in a silent auction was pretty cool.”
Karr says one magical moment from the auction occurred when a worker successfully bid on a guitar signed by his wife’s favorite artist. He found out and told her on the day of their wedding anniversary.
The employees involved in the auction also contribute one-percent of every paycheck to the Veteran’s United Foundation. Karr says the arrangement’s raised big money since it started five years ago. “Since we were founded in November 2011, we have given more than $20 million from the foundation to different people throughout the nation.”
The foundation works with a number of organizations and communities to assist current and retired veterans. The foundation donated over $300,000 to assist the same Navy Seal the Veteran’s United Home Loans employees raised the $44,000 for.
The money’s being given to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) which is building a customized home in San Diego for triple amputee Andrew Bottrell, who was injured in 2011 while being deployed in Afghanistan.
He was injured when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. The R.I.S.E. program provides mortgage-free homes customized specifically to the needs of severely wounded Veterans.