GM donating portion of revenue to VFW
General Motors is celebrating Memorial Day by donating $100 from the corporate revenue earned from the sale of every new GMC, Buick or Pontiac between May 22 to May 31.
The money will go to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Home for Children, a nationwide non-profit that supports veterans and their families, during or after deployment.
Labrum Chevrolet in Heber City is participating in the event.
"We’re just getting on board," said owner Danny Labrum. " But we think we can push 10 Buick/Pontiacs during the four-day weekend sale. That would mean a $1000 donation from us."
Labrum said that because GM only notified him of the program on Tuesday he wasn’t able to run any advertisements. But he still feels the overall contribution will be significant.
"It’s hard to tell, but they figure it will be several million dollars GM will be donating to the VFW," he said. "I just think it’s great. With all the hype with the war going, I think it’ll be a great deal, especially to help the families of the soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever. We support them 100 percent."
Buyers will receive a complementary flag pin from GM, who chose VFW after researching many charities.
"They were looking for a charity that worked with children and families, that had a focus on veterans, that was national in scope, and that was apolitical," said Barry Walter, public relations director at the VFW National Home for Children. "They did a search and wound up with a list. They started checking out that list and when they hit our website we popped, and that’s how they picked us."
GM first contacted VFW on May 11 about making the donation. Since then, it’s been a race against the clock to promote the program and let the public know of the contribution.
"We haven’t had much time to wrap our arms and hearts around where the money is coming from yet, yet alone where it’s going." Walter said. "This size donation is certainly going to assist us to continue doing what we do. It will allow us to serve the families and children of the veterans that we do."
Although individual dealers don’t have to participate, only a few across the nation have decided to opt out. Nevertheless, Walter said VFW is just happy to be chosen.
"We feel very fortunate of course because they found us, but we also feel they found us because we have done a lot of hard work in preparation for somebody finding us," he said. "It’s a very generous donation that will be a big help to us."
VFW has two basic programs. The first is a residential program that is meant to help children or grandchildren of veterans who might come to VFW without parents.
The second program is a single-parent-family program. Children come to VFW who live with a single parent or guardian, but unlike the first program, the single-parent program is a short-term deal to help them get on their feet.
Patrice Green, Executive Director for VFW, said GM hasn’t restricted the donation and that the plan is to use the money to help all VFW programs. She also called the National Home for Children VFW’s best kept secret.
"It’s a welcome gift," she said. "It’s a great relief, at least at this time, to anticipate such a great donation. It will assist us in all ways to do the work that we do."
VFW can be contacted directly at their Michigan office on their dedicated line, (800) 851-0238. The hotline is staffed by professional social workers. VFW can also be reached through the Web at http://www.vfwnationalhome.org.
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