Self storage companies are famous for supporting charitable organizations, especially organizations that are focused on helping veterans, troops overseas, or military families. But Wounded Warrior Outdoors may be the only such charity that was actually founded by members of the self storage industry. Wounded Warrior, which offers injured veterans and disabled veterans from the United States and Canada a chance to recuperate while on a hunting trip in British Columbia or in Alaska, Florida, or Texas, has announced that it is starting a new campaign: One for the Troops.
The One for the Troops campaign is directed specifically at the self storage industry. To participate, self storage facilities can donate the proceeds from the rental of one storage unit to Wounded Warrior. The storage unit can be rented for any amount of time that the facility manager feels comfortable in donating: a month, a year, or indefinitely. The self storage units that are chosen for the campaign can be any size. The money raised will be used to give wounded veterans a chance to go out in the British Columbian wilderness and take part in a hunting trip, something that many veterans enjoy but may have thought they would never have the chance to do again, after being badly wounded in the line of duty.
“This is a wonderful charity and will really help these veterans,” Professional Self Storage Management president Mel Holsinger told Inside Self-Storage yesterday. Holsinger, who owns Midway Mini Storage of Show Low, Arizona, is donating the proceeds from a year’s rental of one 5’ x 10’ self storage unit to the campaign.
“This is so much more than just an outdoor trip for these guys,” Holsinger went on. “We’re providing them a channel that will aid in their recovery.”
Wounded Warrior is the brainchild of Ron Raboud, an avid sports hunter who also is the CEO of The Rabco Corporation, which produces prefabricated metal self storage buildings. Raboud has been in the habit of going on a spring hunt in southcentral British Columbia for more than 20 years. Almost a decade ago, Raboud and his hunting partner, Dave Wabnegger (who owns Otter Lake Guide Outfitters in Princeton, British Columbia), decided to start making room in their hunting group for one “special” hunter each year. The year’s “special” hunter was usually a young person who was struggling with a lifechanging or terminal disease.
In 2009, Raboud and Wabnegger offered their “special” spot to a wounded veteran, U.S. Marine Blaine Scott. Scott’s ankle had been shattered when the light-armored vehicle he was riding in was blown up in Iraq in 2006. But he joined Raboud and Wabnegger for their spring bear hunt. Shortly after their hunting trip with Blaine, Raboud and Wabnegger decided to expand their offer of one “special” spot, forming Wounded Warrior Outdoors and offering as many spots as they can finance to injured veterans.
“These trips can be designed to help the veterans get the equivalent of three months of the therapy they’d receive in a hospital setting,” Raboud said in today’s Inside Self-Storage.
Wounded Warrior Outdoors pays for the entire expense of each wounded veteran’s hunting trip, including airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and meals. The group’s goal is to take 50 injured veterans hunting every year, at four different locations. Some of the trips take place in the United States, at locations in Alaska, Florida, and Texas. Others take place in Raboud’s old familiar stomping grounds, British Columbia, Canada. Candidates for the hunting trips come from referrals at U.S. military hospitals Brooke Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
While at first Wounded Warrior’s goal was simply to take each veteran out on a hunting trip, Raboud found himself unable to stop at that. Now he also helps each veteran’s rehabilitation team to work with the veteran on setting goals for therapy.
Raboud and Holsinger are not the only people connected with Wounded Warrior who have a connection to the self storage industry. Wounded Warrior also has Troy Bix, publisher of Inside Self-Storage, on its board of directors.
“My heart really goes out to this foundation because my son is in the U.S. Air Force and on his fifth deployment,” Bix said in Inside Self-Storage in January. “Being involved personally with an organization that gives back to U.S. and Canadian soldiers is really important to me.”
Last April, Janus International, a manufacturer of rolling doors and other self storage building components, also offered its support to the group.
“Janus International sponsors Wounded Warrior Outdoors charity.” Inside Self-Storage. April 8, 2010.
Professional Self Storage Management.
The Rabco Corporation.
Robinson, Holly. “Janus throws its support behind Wounded Warrior Outdoors.” Self Storage Industry News. April 9, 2010.
“Self-storage veteran launches charity: Wounded Warrior Outdoors.” Inside Self-Storage. Jan. 5, 2010.
Wounded Warrior Outdoors.
“Wounded Warrior Outdoors launches One for the Troops campaign.” Inside Self-Storage. Sept. 15, 2010.