Giving Back to Sick and Injured Veterans
Building a house requires construction equipment. Building a Fisher House requires construction equipment — and a deep desire to give back.
These houses, which dot the country, aren’t your typical homes. They are refuges where military families can stay, free of charge, while their service member or veteran is receiving medical treatment for an injury, illness or disease at a nearby major military or VA medical center.
“It provides them a comfortable place to go back to at the end of a day that might be a tough day — or maybe it’s a good day — but it’s a day when a little bit of trauma’s going on in their life, and we try to make it a little easier on the families,” said Steve Kuykendall, president and CEO of Fisher House Southern California.
The homes benefit the families — saving them hotel and transportation costs, for instance — but also the service member or veteran. As a Fisher House Foundation motto goes, “a family’s love is good medicine.”
To date the foundation has served more than 305,000 families. They enjoy private bedrooms and baths, a common kitchen, living room, dining room and laundry facility and something else: an instant community of other military families facing similar struggles.
Said the mother of one Marine veteran who was awarded the Silver Star Medal, “It was an amazing, incredible gift during the darkest days of my life.”
United Rentals has donated hundreds of pieces of equipment for the construction of 11 Fisher Houses (and counting) since 2015 in places ranging from Tucson, Arizona, to Orlando, Florida, to Houston, Texas, and Long Beach, California. Averaging 12,000 square feet, the houses take from 8 to 12 months to build.
For United Rentals, partnering with Fisher House Foundation just made sense.
“Fisher House is a great organization that shares our passion for helping veterans. So donating equipment to build Fisher Houses is a natural for us,” said Tim Rule, vice president of market development for United Rentals.
The company’s involvement doesn’t end at providing backhoes and excavators, however. Countless volunteers have put in thousands of hours sprucing up the landscapes, building playgrounds and in one case even donating and hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the families. Employees have also raised more than $30,000 in donated funds through events such as customer golf and fishing outings.
“It’s really our employees, stepping up to make a difference by volunteering at their local Fisher Houses, or other great causes in the community, who are the face of giving back at United Rentals,” said Rule.
Watch the video to learn more about United Rentals’ partnership with Fisher House Foundation and meet some of the people who makes these houses happen.
Marianne Wait is an editor and writer who creates content for Fortune 500 brands.