Michigan Ability Partners (MAP) and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Ann Arbor have come together yet again to make a significant impact in the lives of veterans.
“The mission of Michigan Ability Partners is to partner with veterans and those with disabilities in support of their self-directed transformation to self-sufficiency,” shares Executive Director Jan Little. “MAP has a housing first approach which basically states that an individual must have access to permanent housing first, before other positive outcomes can be obtained.”
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Ann Arbor has been steering the Movers for Military drive for 12 years.
“Every franchise participates in a fall marketing campaign,” explains Bush. “Movers for Military has always been dear to our hearts because our [local] franchisee [Alan Oversmith] comes from a military family, and I do too. We always try to give back and support our veteran population.”
Over the years, the Movers for Military drive has evolved, especially in the face of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, community collection partners were engaged and boxes were placed inside businesses for donations. However, some creative rethinking led to a partnership with Kroger. Now, the drive takes the form of ‘Stuff the Truck’ events at various Kroger locations, where shoppers receive a list of needed items, interact with MAP representatives, and make donations directly into the trucks. This new approach, Bush notes, has significantly bolstered the drive’s success.
This year, the drive kicked off on September 28, with sights set on collecting over 2,500 essential care items by Veteran’s Day on November 11. The array of items spans hygiene products like deodorant and toothpaste to non-perishable food, all channeling support to MAP in its mission to assist homeless veterans transition back to civilian life through stable housing and employment opportunities.
A legacy of community engagement
The ethos of community support and giving back is deeply rooted in TWO MEN AND A TRUCK’s culture since its inception in the mid-’80s.
According to Charlene Bush, the company began a legacy of “giving back to the community” right from its early days. Remarkably, “Our founder ‘gave back’ to 10 separate charities the first year she was profitable,” shares Bush.
This practice stems from a belief that resonates through the organization: people prefer to do business with entities that support the community, embodying a reciprocal relationship between businesses and the communities they operate in.
The collaboration between MAP and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Ann Arbor is a well-forged one, with MAP being the beneficiary of the drive for at least the last eight years. Through concerted efforts like the Movers for Military drive, they address immediate needs while also building a framework of support and stability for our local veterans as they strive to lead civilian lives.
You can lend a hand too
The forthcoming ‘Stuff the Truck’ event in Ann Arbor exemplifies this spirit community giving. On Tuesday, October 24, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m, community members are encouraged to convene at the Kroger located at 2641 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor to contribute essential care items and engage directly with the mission of supporting our veterans.
And, direct monetary donations, particularly recurring monthly gifts, are always appreciated to ensure the ongoing support of some of our community’s most vulnerable members.