Greenwood – Active-duty soldiers face plenty of challenges on the battle field, but many of them also deal with problems at home. One Greenwood man saw that need and decided to do something about it.
“There's a need for an organization to step up and support the average active duty soldier,” said Jeff Wells, founder of Wish for Our Heroes.
Wells says there are many groups that already focus on soldiers wounded or killed in action.
“Those are all great causes, but we felt there was a need to help the average, hard-working soldier such as Ron,” said Wells.
Sgt. Ron Smith, a soldier at Camp Atterbury, was struggling with transportation issues after his car broke down. The organization, Wish for Our Heroes, granted his wish to get a vehicle.
“I didn't have any transportation. I'd been bumming rides and borrowing cars for about a month,” said Sgt. Smith. That's where Wish for Our Heroes stepped in, providing him with a car.
Sgt. Smith says it's made “a world of difference. I was able to get to the stores, get stuff I needed. I wasn't dependent on everybody's schedule.”
Wish for Our Heroes just received a Pepsi Refresh grant of $50,000.
“It really gives us a jump start,” Wells said of the grant. His organization has already granted about $50,000 in wishes to date after launching in November 2009. “Support has been unbelievable.”
The Pepsi Refresh grant was the result of a voting contest, and Wish for Our Heroes came in third out of 1,000 competing organizations, Wells said.
Wells says every penny of the $50,000 will go towards helping soldiers. He hopes to grant 25 to 30 wishes with the grant.