From the Stands to the Front Lines: Serving Hope for Veterans with PTSD
There’s something truly magical about a summer evening at the ballpark. The smell of popcorn wafts through the air, the crack of the bat resonates in your chest, and the stadium comes alive with the cheers of passionate fans. For years, we had been content with being among those fans, enjoying America’s pastime from the comfort of our seats at Frederick Keys games. Little did we know that our journey this season would take a remarkable turn, leading our FoodPRO team to the front lines of a noble cause: supporting veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Our story began with a unique opportunity. As a food service company dedicated to making a difference in our community, FoodPRO was always eager to find meaningful ways to give back. Around mid-season, our Inside Sales team member, Emily stumbled upon a great cause and brought it forward to our CFO so our team can participate in a remarkable partnership between Pulling for Veterans PTSD Awareness and Frederick Keys.
Pulling for Veterans is a nonprofit organization that is bringing awareness to military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) utilizing pull trailers as rolling billboards honoring our brothers and sister who have lost their battle to PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD impacts so many of our brave veterans, while Secondary PTSD impacts their families and caregivers. Pulling for Veterans partner with 1500 local veteran-owned businesses and/or veteran organizations across our great nation to house and rent 3 trailers in your local community. They name each trailer after a local veteran from our community with a photograph and QR code that will take you to his or her bio. This offers a unique opportunity to not only provide assistance to deserving veterans, but also honor your veteran with a trailer.
Inspired by this mission, our FoodPRO team decided to join hands and volunteer at the food concession stands during Frederick Keys games where all the proceeds go to this amazing nonprofit organization. Here are few points we found rewarding.
- Serving Up Awareness: As we donned our Pulling for Veterans shirts and prepared to serve hungry baseball fans, we knew that our mission was twofold: to provide delicious ballpark food and to spread awareness about veteran PTSD. Each transaction became an opportunity to engage with patrons, educate them about our cause, and encourage support.
- An Unexpected Education: While working at the concession stands, we had the chance to interact with locals who were attending the games and inform them about the challenges Veterans face was both eye-opening and humbling. It underscored the importance of our mission to raise awareness and support.
- Uniting for a Cause: Volunteering at the Frederick Keys games brought our FoodPRO team together in a way that surpassed our usual work interactions. We were united by a shared cause – to serve veterans and bring attention to the issue of PTSD. This newfound unity strengthened our resolve and our sense of community.
- Conversations that Matter: Engaging with fans, veterans, and their families allowed us to have meaningful conversations about the realities of PTSD. We shared resources, information, and stories of hope, fostering a sense of empathy and understanding among those we served.
- Impact Beyond the Stadium: We hope the impact of our efforts extends beyond the ballpark. We brought back what we learned to our team and customers, and we were able to spread the message about the challenges veterans face and the importance of supporting them, particularly those dealing with PTSD.
Volunteering for Pulling For Veterans has transformed FoodPRO’s perspective on corporate social responsibility. It’s a testament to the idea that when a company and its employees unite in a shared mission to raise awareness and support a cause, they can make a real difference.
So, the next time you find yourself at a Frederick Keys game, consider how your company, can transition from being a spectator to a front-line supporter of a cause you’re passionate about. You might just discover that the real magic of the ballpark isn’t just in the game itself but in the opportunities, it provides to shine a spotlight on vital issues and make a lasting impact in your community.