By ALYSSA AHERN
Public Relations Associate, Project Evergreen
As Project EverGreen’s SnowCare for Troops campaign begins its fifth season, the program is expanding to serve wounded and disabled U.S. veterans in addition to families of currently deployed military personnel with snow and ice removal services during the winter months. The program currently serves more than 2,000 families throughout the midwest and many snow and ice management landscaping professionals serve as volunteers.
For over a decade these passionate volunteers have provided help on the home front to thousands of active-duty military families through SCFT and sister program, GreenCare for Troops. The programs were recognized by Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces challenge in 2012 for their outstanding support of America’s troops.
Interested volunteers and military families are being asked to sign up here and to let others know about the availability of this free service to eligible veterans and military families. In addition to volunteer participation, donations of money or gas cards, as well as loans of snow removal equipment to volunteers and community groups are also welcome.
“Worrying about removing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks can be a huge burden for any family, especially those with a loved one deployed, or for disabled veterans who have bravely served their country,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project Evergreen. “With the expansion of this important service program, we want to encourage participation from both the military community and volunteers as we head into the snowy winter months.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in 2012 there were over 3.6 million veterans with a service-connected disability, an increase of 60 percent since 1990. An estimated 160,000 active-duty military currently serve outside the U.S., with about 1.4 million serving in all branches of the armed forces.
Once the online registration process is completed at SnowCare for Troops, Project EverGreen seeks to make a local match within a specified geographic area. Any honorably discharged veteran qualifies for SCFT regardless of when their disability occurred, whether during their deployment or after their service period. For eligible wounded or disabled veterans, snow removal services will be provided for a 9-12 month period once the match is made. Active-duty military members are eligible during deployments.
Expansion of this grassroots initiative will help service members who were wounded or sustained another disability after serving our country, many who have served multiple times in America’s most memorable conflicts. In fact, the most recent U.S. census data reveals that 837,000 veterans served in both Gulf Wars, 211,000 served in both the Korean War and in the Vietnam era, and 147,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.
“That kind of whole-hearted dedication deserves our whole-hearted support,” said Mark Klossner, marketing director for BOSS Snowplow. “The members of the U.S. military comprise the most amazing fighting force on the planet. Let’s support our heroes as we honor them this fall.”
To learn more about Project EverGreen’s SnowCare for Troops visit the organization’s online registration page.