Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), an organization founded in 1978 to support and advocate for veterans of the Vietnam War, serves by the motto “never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” VVA’s goal is to promote the well-being of all veterans and raise awareness of issues they face.
U-Haul, founded by a World War II veteran and his wife, has served as an official corporate partner of VVA since 2006. This partnership is especially prominent during VVA’s biannual national conventions and leadership conferences, which take place during alternate years. To help make these gatherings a success, U-Haul compiles binders for all event attendees.
Each year U-Haul, under the leadership of its Community Relations and Fulfillment Services teams, sources the materials, proofs and prints the inside contents, and hand-assembles the binders. For VVA’s recent national convention, volunteers at the U-Haul Midtown Campus in Phoenix organized and assembled 750 attendee binders, each with 250 pages (that’s 187,500 pages if you’re counting).
Heather Lamb, a U-Haul rate monitor, has helped organize the binder-assembly project for three years and enjoyed the latest experience.
“We got most of the binders done in one day, which was an incredible accomplishment,” Lamb stated. “It went by quickly. Everyone worked hard to make sure that we could complete our tasks on time. The Community Relations Team played fun music to listen to and sing along, which I really liked.
“As someone who comes from a military family, I’m grateful for the opportunities that U-Haul provides us to give back to veterans and active service members. I know these binders are put to good use by VVA, and that they use the information to assist so many people. I’m grateful for everything the VVA does for veterans. I think it’s fantastic that U-Haul chooses to help them out.”
On the last day of the convention in Orlando, U-Haul was presented with the “In Service to America” award for helping the VVA fulfill its core mission. Ed Hatcher, U-Haul Area District Vice President, accepted the award. Hatcher also attended the VVA awards banquet in 2013.
“When the U-Haul Community Relations team asked me if I’d be willing to attend the banquet, I instantly said yes,” Hatcher noted. “My dad was a veteran of the Vietnam War; I’m a U.S. Marine Corps veteran; and my daughter’s a U.S. Air Force veteran. I love supporting organizations that give back to veterans. My previous convention experience showed me just how strong the partnership is between VVA and U-Haul. It was a privilege to be able to represent U-Haul at a VVA event once again.”
At the banquet, Hatcher and his fiancé Kim mingled with VVA members who thanked him for his military service – and U-Haul for its support.
“You could feel the camaraderie that VVA members have for each other, and the sense of shared purpose that motivates them to work toward the betterment of veterans,” Hatcher added. “That’s how I feel as a member of U-Haul. We were built by veterans, and we strive to help veterans succeed by supporting organizations like VVA, as well as by recruiting and retaining veterans within our own ranks.”
VVA Communications Director Mokie Porter said: “U-Haul is a special company to everyone at VVA, both because it was started by a veteran and his wife, and because its Team Members strive to understand and fulfill veterans’ needs. For example, if it weren’t for U-Haul Team Members’ selfless service, I’d be stuck at an office copier for literal weeks on end trying to assemble every conference and convention binder myself. I wouldn’t be able to do everything else to help organize and hold these important, veteran-focused meetings.
“The fact that U-Haul goes out of its way to assist organizations like us really makes a world of difference, and it fills us with gratitude. U-Haul is a fantastic organization and VVA is proud to partner with them.”
To learn more about U-Haul Company’s partnership with VVA, click here.