The Hy-Vee grocery chain is launching an effort in Nebraska and seven other states to raise funds for three organizations that help veterans.
The Hy-Vee Homefront Initiative will match donations up to $100,000 for Operation First Response, Hope for the Warriors and the Puppy Jake Foundation.
P.J. Sesker, chair of Operation First Response, came up with the idea.
“The funds will go to help wounded heroes who are waiting for their benefits from the V-A, which is probably now 100,000 cases behind,” Sesker says. Operation First Response provides interim money to veterans while they wait on their government benefits to kick in.
“Now a lot of these people have children, small children that need to be taken care of, so that money will be used to buy food, pay heat bills, light bills, car payments, rent, whatever they need to keep them afloat before they get their V-A benefits,” Sesker explains.
The nine-year-old organization operates in all 50 states. Sesker says having an organization like Hy-Vee that is in so many communities will keep the veterans’ needs top of mind. She says it’s easy to forget them once the fighting is over.
A spokesman for the Iowa-based Hy-Vee says the chain has a lot of employees in its eight states that are veterans — and many customers who are veterans — so the program is a “natural fit.”
Hope for the Warriors is a national organization that supports wounded veterans, and the Puppy Jake Foundation provides service dogs for veterans.
The effort will take place in Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The first event is set for November 6th through the 16th and is called the “Round Up.” Customers in the stores will be allowed to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and the extra money will go to the Homefront effort.
Hy-Vee plans to have other special promotions around holidays to raise funds.