To kick off the campaign, H-E-B is partnering with nonprofit Operation Finally Home to give away homes to two disabled veterans and their families in San Antonio. The H-E-B Charitable Trust donated the construction cost of the homes.
In addition to the 2013 home giveaways, throughout 2014 H-E-B and Operation Finally Home will give away five more homes – one home in each of the five Texas regions H-E-B serves: Greater Houston, Greater San Antonio, Central Texas, the Rio Grande Valley and the Gulf Coast. H-E-B invites its shoppers from across the state to submit nominations for qualified and deserving veterans through Operation Finally Home’s website (www.operationfinallyhome.org) from now until Thanksgiving. Winners for each of the five regions will be chosen at the beginning of 2014.
H-E-B also has introduced its first-ever reusable bag design to honor members of the military. Displaying a patriotic theme and now available in all H-E-B stores for $1.50, 10 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each bag will go directly to supporting Operation Finally Home.
Memorial Day marked the beginning of Military Partner Appreciation Week dedicated to honoring the more than 1,200 active members of the military and veterans who work as H-E-B Partners. Throughout the week, H-E-B Partners who have served were recognized with special ceremonies and given “Proudly Served” pins to wear on their company name badges. H-E-B is also beginning a new tradition with special Send Off and Welcome Home events for its Partners that are being deployed or returning home from military service.
The company is currently stepping up efforts to recruit military veterans for employment by developing a new five-step hiring guide for military employment candidates.
Military nonprofit partnerships
The campaign includes partnerships with grassroots and military nonprofit organizations that support service members, veterans and their families.
“Over the years, our store leaders have supported nonprofits that serve military families and veterans in their local communities. We will continue that commitment at the local level, but for the first time, we’re also creating companywide partnerships with military nonprofits,” Herron said.
In that spirit of giving, H-E-B is actively donating time, talent and financial support to: Military Child Education Coalition, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), USO United Through Reading and Operation Finally Home.
H-E-B shoppers will have an opportunity to participate in Operation Appreciation throughout the year beginning with an all-new Care Package Program. The program will give customers the opportunity to submit stories about the items their loved ones miss most from H-E-B. Winning stories will be selected and H-E-B will send a care package with those items out to the troops in the field. H-E-B also will share the winning service member’s story online through heb.comand in social media. Five winners will be selected every month beginning this fall.
On Sept. 11, 2013, H-E-B will launch a statewide tear pad campaign with all proceeds going to Operation Finally Home. The funds collected in 2013 will go directly to help build homes for severely wounded service members in 2014.
“Just like the courageous men, women and families who sacrifice of themselves for our country, H-E-B is all-in with Operation Appreciation,” Winell Herron, H-E-B group vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs, said. “From customers and communities to partners and stores, this campaign is a long-term commitment to make sure the men and women of the U.S. armed forces know how grateful we are for all they do.”