In 2016, Cobb County-based construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie made a five-year commitment to raise money via its employees and subcontractors for a local veterans organization, Shepherd’s Men. During the five-year campaign, employees and subcontractors visited the Shepherd Center to see the work Shepherd’s Men supports first-hand through the SHARE Military Initiative. The campaign resulted in a $1.2 million donation to Shepherd’s Men.
SHARE Military Initiative is a comprehensive rehabilitative program that focuses on assessment and treatment for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffer from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. SHARE, which has treated over 750 veterans, provides the treatment and tools to successfully rehabilitate and return veterans to their families and communities. For seven consecutive years, Shepherd’s Men members have been running across the country and hosting unique events to raise funds and awareness for SHARE.
“Our employees and subcontractors have come to know Shepherd’s Men quite well and deeply appreciate the work they’re doing to support veterans with TBI and post-traumatic stress, because the need is tremendous,” said Brent Perkins, director of personal development at Brasfield & Gorrie. “It is our honor to support Shepherd’s Men and the SHARE Military Initiative. We feel privileged to align with their outstanding work, look forward to learning more about the lives that will be impacted, and we are grateful to our employees and subcontractors for their generosity in helping Shepherd’s Men lift up our veteran heroes who protect the freedoms that we all so richly enjoy.”
The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center reported nearly 414,000 traumatic brain injuries among U.S. service members worldwide between 2000 and late 2019. In fact, more than 185,000 veterans who use the VA for their health care have been diagnosed with at least one traumatic brain injury. Veterans with a history of such injuries are more than twice as likely to die by suicide, compared to those without them, according to the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.
At a cost of approximately $35,000 per client, numerous individuals will be the beneficiaries of the life-saving treatment that is rendered at SHARE, all at no cost to the individual. Because it is difficult to secure funding from governmental sources, Shepherd’s Men spearheads fundraising for SHARE through runs, advocacy work and other national and local events. The group has garnered the attention of celebrities such as the country music singer Chris Young, Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin, and the late country music hall-of-famer, Charlie Daniels, who have all lent their voices and status to support Shepherd’s Men.
“We are eternally grateful to Brasfield & Gorrie for raising much-needed funds for our beloved veterans and their families,” said Travis Ellis of Smyrna, a co-founder of Shepherd’s Men. “We will not rest until our returning heroes receive the treatment they need to live purposeful, gratifying lives after their honorable service to this country.
“By supporting our veterans with this five-year campaign, Brasfield & Gorrie is directly impacting the lives of many veterans who deserve the best life has to offer. Also, it is our hope this relationship building strategy will be an advantageous roadmap for other organizations to follow.”
For more information on Shepherd’s Men, visit shepherdsmen.com.