On the Weingartz Supply company website its’ Core Purpose is listed as “creating a robust, long-term sustainable business enterprise that is respected by employees, customers and the community and to provide financial assistance to those who would otherwise go without, either materially or spiritually.”
Jamie Vroman, service manager for the Macomb, Michigan-based outdoor equipment dealer, has always been motivated to help others and recently he took a step to fulfill both his company’s and his own core purpose by becoming a Project EverGreen SnowCare for Troops volunteer.
Vroman was matched with disabled Marine Corps veteran Alan Opra who lost a leg as a result of being struck by a drunk driver. Opra, who is in a wheelchair, is very active in the community assisting other veterans. He donates his time to the Marine Corps annual Toys for Tots campaign, playing taps at military funerals and serving on the selection committee for service academy appointments for his local Congressman.
SnowCare for Troops spoke recently with Vroman about his experiences with the SnowCare for Troops program and what his participation means to him.
Q: How did you learn about SnowCare for Troops?
A: Weingartz is a BOSS Snowplow (the lead supporter of the SnowCare for Troops program) dealer and I saw information on the BOSS website about the program and thought I could help out. I knew a number of veterans and active duty military personnel, and had recently lost a friend who was a Vietnam veteran to cancer and I wanted to give back. I registered for the program in 2014 and was not matched up but tried again last fall and was paired with Alan Opra.
Q: Talk about your relationship with Alan?
A: Alan initially called me and we agreed to meet on a Sunday to talk about the program and get to know one another. Turns out we had a lot of common interests. He gave me his garage door access code so I could access his blower and I have stopped over several times this winter to clear the driveway and walks. He appreciates the program and what it does for military families and wounded/disabled veterans.
Q: What does your participation in SnowCare for Troops mean to you?
A: I have always been a helping person and my late friend’s service in the military influenced my decision to register for SnowCare for Troops. I did not serve but this was something I could do to give back. It means a lot to me and being able to do something positive in my corner of the world makes me feel good.
Q: What advice would you give to another contractor considering registering to be a SnowCare or GreenCare for Troops volunteer?
A: If you can do it, do it. It doesn’t require a huge time commitment and it means a lot to the military family or veteran on the receiving end. In Alan’s case he worried about being able to get out (Opra lives alone and has no children) to continue his work with other veterans. Because of SnowCare for Troops he doesn’t have to worry about that. It is all about paying it forward and allowing Alan and other veterans like him to carry on with their daily activities and continue to contribute to society.