Since 2010, construction equipment rental company Volvo Rents
has supported U.S. military troops through two prominent nonprofit organizations. Volvo Rents’ partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation
, which began in 2011, features a line of patriotic-themed equipment. On average, 20 percent of the revenue Volvo Rents generates from these rentals, which include 50 different types of equipment, is donated to fund scholarships and provide assistance to the spouses and children of killed or disabled service members. To date, the equipment line has raised nearly $112,000 for educational scholarships.
“There was a natural connection between Volvo Rents and Folds of Honor,” says Matt Tavianini, vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Rents. “We wanted to help an organization that our customers felt strongly about, and our customer base wears patriotism on their sleeves.”
Additionally, Volvo Rents partners with Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that provides funds, materials and professional labor to help build homes for severely disabled veterans. Founded in 2004, Homes for Our Troops helps injured veterans and their families live independently and more comfortably after returning home. With the support of companies such as Volvo Rents, the organization provides the homes at no cost to the veterans.
“The most rewarding part of working with these two great charities is knowing that we are helping to provide better lives for those who sacrificed so much for our freedom,” says Patrice Flatau, philanthropy manager of Volvo Rents. “Our involvement with these two organizations reminds us on a daily basis that freedom is never free. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the results of that support—a veteran cutting the ribbon to his mortgage-free, specially adapted home, or a struggling mother and child receiving the great gift of higher education.”
The Homes for Our Troops process begins with a groundbreaking ceremony followed by a few days of building. The public has a chance to help out during a volunteer day, and the recipient is presented with a house key during a special ceremony.
Volvo Rents has helped build 41 homes across the country for disabled veterans and raised more than $192,000 for the charity.
“These veterans and soldiers have served us by protecting our freedom; it’s important to give that support back to them,” Tavianini says.
Volvo Rents also has worked with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) chapters throughout the country to expand awareness of these types of organizations to members of the construction industry. Many ABC chapters have helped raise money for the cause, including chapters in Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
The ABC Oklahoma Chapter
and some of its members also volunteered to help Folds of Honor build its $1.3 million national headquarters in 2010. The members involved donated more than $850,000 worth of materials and manpower to the project.
“There’s a sense of pride in giving back to our veterans and to the community throughout our company, our employees on every level and our customers,” Flatau says. “Volvo Rents is proud to support our troops and the mission of these two organizations.”