4 WHEEL TO HEAL BRINGS OFF-ROAD THERAPY
Combining their love of off-roading with a desire to help others, four active duty service members are hoping to make a difference in the lives of injured and disabled Veterans. It was their common bond of off-roading that brought John Purser, John Griffin, Nathan Ramos and Mark Schultz together when they were stationed together in Washington D.C., but it was a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) that gave them their purpose. The four men formed 4 Wheel To Heal in July of 2011 to provide morale to disabled Vets by taking them out to enjoy wheeling, camping and other outdoor activities. They believe that the camaraderie found in the off-road community is similar to that experienced in the military and hope that the experience will help the Vets take their mind off what they are going through while in recovery. They forged a relationship with Operation Ward 57 out of Walter Reed and began taking wounded soldiers for some outdoor fun.
Photo courtesy of Keith Gillan/4 Wheel To Heal They were determined to achieve non-profit status and their dedication paid off; late 2012 they were officially recognized as a 501( c)(3) organization. This meant that all donations are fully tax deductible and was a huge boost in their ability to gain sponsors. The men are proud to let people know that no one in the organization takes a salary and all marketing efforts are done through word of mouth and social media. They make a 10% donation to Operation Ward 57 and all of the rest goes directly to taking Vets and their caregivers out wheeling. All costs are covered, including transportation to and from an event, food, the use of any equipment that might be needed such as tents, and any entry fees required.
To be continue...