An organization at Western Michigan University is working to support U.S. military service members and veterans.
Broncos For Heroes is a nonprofit organization that sends care packages to soldiers. The packages contain snacks and goodies, toiletries and other necessary items. Broncos for Heroes also gives the community a chance to come together and show its support for the troops deployed overseas.
“The reason we do it is because we truly appreciate all the sacrifices made by the men and women of our military, past and present,” David Reed, the co-founder of Broncos for Heroes, said. “Mike Bearup, myself, and many of our members are cadets in the Army ROTC at WMU. We know how important it is to show our gratitude and support for these men and women.”
Bearup and Reed came up with the idea for this organization last year. They started Broncos for Heroes with a goal in mind to start an organization at WMU that would pool the efforts of many to make a bigger impact. The pair started by working with freshmen during summer orientation to gain support for their cause.
According to Reed, they are now in the process of building a true committee and are starting to tap into the giving spirit of the WMU community.
Broncos for Heroes is a donation run organization. Because of this, Bearup and Reed struggle to find the funding necessary to ship the care packages. According to Reed, shipping one care package costs about $13. In order to help with funding, the organization reached out to businesses for sponsorships and donations.
According to Reed, local companies like Sweetwater’s Doughnuts and Menna’s Joint have signed on to be sponsors. The businesses have collection jars by their cash registers to help Broncos for Heroes raise more donations. Also, OfficeMax has donated its services to provide the group with the literature and flyers they use to help them promote the organization.
The Kalamazoo Wings will be holding a collection drive for Broncos for Heroes during the Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 15. Reed said that more collection drives for Broncos for Heroes will be held in the future.
“These care packages give our troops a chance to take a break, even if it is just for a couple minutes,” Reed said. ” It shows them that we know they are still over there and that we care.”
Broncos for Heroes is also hosting a letter writing table during the event for guests who would like to send a letter to a service member.
According to Reed, the real success of the organization is its ability to operate and grow consistently in support of the troops. To Reed, the organization is about starting something that will continue after he and Bearup have left.
“We are always looking for those interested in supporting us,” Reed said.
Reed said that the organization always needs volunteers and organizers.
The public may donate to Broncos for Heroes through their website.