At Creativation 2020, AFCI is partnering with Help Heal Veterans, the recipient of this upcoming year's show harvest. Founded in 1971, Help Heal Veterans (HEAL VETS) has provided free therapeutic craft kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans for generations. Over that time, they've helped traumatized veterans improve their motor skills, while also developing better feelings of self-esteem and self-worth.
This holiday season, Help Heal Veterans will continue its altruistic work through craft material recycling. During the month of December, Help Heal Veterans will be in every seat back on every Southwest Airlines flight (6.1 million readers).
Last year, Help Heal Veterans recycled 360,000 pounds of materials, which kept these materials out of landfills and transformed them into therapy kits for veterans. Plane seats became wallets, couches became messenger bags, kitchen cabinets became bird feeders, car seats became purses, deer skins became moccasins and so much more.
This proved to be a game changing shift; HHV produced around 350,000 therapy kits last year and 30% came from recycled materials; the goal for 2020 is to exceed the number of produced kits in 2019.
Vice president of Development, Michael Fisher, said, "We are truly thankful for partners like Southwest Airlines, La-Z-Boy, American Woodmark, Magna, Elks, Arise Veteran Foundation, Silvercreek Leather, Plaid, Aly-Kat Leather and many others that have donated goods for upcycling and recycling. Additionally, we are thankful for distribution partners Sons of Amvets, Arise Veteran Foundation, The VFW Auxiliary, VA Medical Centers and hundreds more!"
Fisher continued, "We are ultimately thankful for donors that make our whole program run. Every time a donor gives $10.00, we make another therapy kit and upcycle more materials! Last year we helped over 200,000 veterans and military members with PTSD, TBI and other ailments."
In the season of giving, Fisher, among others, is thankful for having great people who donate, time, effort, money and materials to Help Heal Veterans and keep our planet a better place to live.