A regional retailer, raising the money one dollar at a time, presented a locally-based veterans organization with more than $12,000 to support ongoing efforts aiding those who have left the military and are transitioning - many times with difficulty - into civilian life.
Officials from Dunn Tire handed a ceremonial check to representatives of WNY Heroes Inc. Tuesday in Williamsville. The funds were raised by dollar donations provided by customers throughout Dunn Tire's chain.
WNY Heroes provides services including financial help to veterans and their families, training and provision of service dogs to qualified candidates and even automobiles, donated to the organization for refurbishing and road readiness.
"It's not easy to adjust at all," said Eric Hutcheson, case worker for WNY Heroes. "One of the things you face is employment. It's definitely a different world out there from the service."
Rob Clark, managing director of retail for Dunn Tire, said in addition to offering veterans discounts for their services, they also have a chance to find work if desired.
"We do make it a wide open policy. My policy with my retail staff is anybody who has a service record on their resume, we're to at least grant them an interview and speak to them to see if there's a fit," Clark said.
Clark explained that while there are many veteran organizations available, they enjoy raising funds for WNY Heroes because of its local, grassroots efforts.
The company holds its monthlong fundraisers three times per year, he said.