SAN ANTONIO - Five San Antonio charities were surprised with $10,000 each this week.
The donations were the first in a nationwide Week of Giving campaign being mounted by the Veterans United Foundation.
The employee-driven campaign has been held the last two years in the company's headquarters of Columbia, Missouri, but this year it decided to take the Week of Giving on the road.
“Giving back is part of our culture at Veterans United,” Greg Steinhoff, executive director of Veterans United Foundation, said. “Our employees created our foundation in 2011 on the premise of enhancing and changing lives for the better. Our Week of Giving was so inspiring to our 1,800 employees in Columbia, we decided this year we wanted to involve all 2,400 employees."
The foundation said more than 90 percent of its employees at Veterans United donate at least 1 percent of their paychecks to the foundation, which has helped them to raise more than $30 million since 2011.
Employees at the San Antonio office personally selected the five local charities that received the $10,000 donation before going to the organizations' offices and surprising them. The local charities that received donations were:
- Homes for Our Troops
- Fisher House
- San Antonio Food Bank
- Haven for Hope
- Green Beret Foundation
“We are surprised and very grateful for this,” said Kenny Wilson, president and CEO of Haven for Hope. “We have about 1,700 people living here. Nearly 10 percent of them are veterans, so many of the veterans who come here have so many challenges -- they are homeless and have mental health and physical difficulties. One said to me just last week, ‘Everything I need is right here.’ This big contribution allows us to continue to operate and provide good services to veterans who deserve it.”
“Our crew handpicked these organizations because they have such a positive impact on our community, and we are incredibly humbled and happy to be in a position to give back and support them,” Chris Cano, branch manager of Veterans United Home Loans of San Antonio, said.
The nationwide campaign will give more than $1 million to communities coast to coast through the end of the year.
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