In the past couple months, Hope For The Warriors® has distributed hundreds of Tempur-Pedic mattresses to service members and military families in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina regions. Providing these mattresses is an important part of our program work with families, especially for wounded service members that need a better mattress while they are recovering from injuries.
A high quality mattress is often needed by wounded service members, especially those struggling with back pain as part of their injuries. According to Eugene Carragee, physician and editor of The Spine Journal’s September 2012 issue, which was devoted to the casualties of war, the number of service members evacuated from war zones for back pain has been as high as 60% of the wounded (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 2012).
A Marine in care at WWBnE picks up his mattress
Hope For The Warriors® also coordinated a donation to the Gary Sinise Foundation. Hope For The Warriors® works closely with the Gary Sinise Foundation to build homes for severely wounded service members across the country. Our organization has provided thousands of dollars to help build homes in New York, Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, California, and more.
|All the queen mattresses palletized in the warehouse.
Distributing these mattresses to our families is a perfect example of how it really takes a village for Hope For The Warriors® to build community and accomplish our mission. Thank you to the following individuals and organizations for their help with the coordination of this donation:
Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation, Inc., Rick Cantwell and Lane Ostrow
USO of Metropolitan Washington, Steve Ibarra
Gary Sinise Foundation, Jim Shubert and Cindy Bittick
Tempur-Pedic, Chuck Zdrojowy and Rhonda Durham
Sunbelt Furniture Xpress, Bryan Canipe
|A Marine’s friend helps move a full size mattress.
In April, Rick Cantwell of Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation, Inc., called our organization. He had three truckloads of mattresses, 312 in total, coming to the Virginia area and was looking for someone to accept and distribute the mattresses. Our staff got to work identifying support for storage and distribution, as well as a list of recipients for the mattresses. The Ft. Belvoir USO has a warehouse and allowed Hope For The Warriors® access to as many mattresses as we wanted.
The mattresses were delivered to the USO warehouse at Ft. Belvoir in May. While we were arranging for pickup of the mattresses, USO encountered a conflict with the space and suddenly, we needed a new home to hold the mattresses. Steve Ibarra, the warehouse manager quickly distributed the majority of the mattresses.
|Hope staff member Leslie Hunt and a Marine pick
up their mattress to load into their truck.
Chuck Zdrojowy, in charge of charitable undertakings with Tempur-Pedic stepped in. Tempur-Pedic is already supplying mattresses to Ronald McDonald Houses across the country, but the company is interested in supporting other charities too. They agreed to donate the next several shipments (312 mattresses/3 truckloads each) to Hope For The Warriors®.
Through our work with Chuck and Tempur-Pedic, the company has also agreed to work the Gary Sinise Foundation to equip the smart homes they are building with adjustable Tempur-Pedic beds.
|Several Marines help unload mattresses
into the warehouse.
Jim Shubert of Gary Sinise Foundation was prepared to make a personal donation by transporting the mattresses to both Camp Lejeune and his warehouse. When he contacted his shipping company, Sunbelt Furniture Express, they refused to allow him to pay. Instead, they donated the transportation, a service that would cost thousands of dollars. A special thank you to Jim Shubert’s assistant, Cindy Bittick, who helped coordinate all of the transportation and shipping.
|A working party of Marines unload the
second truck of queen mattresses.
The first truckload of mattresses was delivered to Camp Lejeune on June 23 and the second was delivered on July 9. The mattresses were delivered the following week to be enjoyed by the families receiving them. Clearly, this donation was no easy feat, but many surprising connections were made along the way. So many caring individuals and companies were involved in making these mattress donations possible, and we thank each and every one for going above and beyond to support our service members and military families.