Two months ago, William Cross and Derek Burns decided to create a non-profit organization called Off Road Heroes Inc. The organization modifies four wheelers for injured veterans that can no longer ride due to a disability or disorder that is a result from military duty overseas. Cross and Burns, who both attend the University of West Georgia, have been collaborating on this organization and how they can expand it. The purpose of the organization is to give away an ATV that is modified to fit the veteran’s special needs in order to make it possible for them to ride again. “Our mission is to return freedom to those who fought for it, and we want to give back awesome.” said Cross.
The idea of the organization came up when Cross sold a four wheeler to a woman who was purchasing the ATV for her husband who was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “The veterans wife began to tear up and tell me how much this four wheeler had changed her husbands life.” Said Cross, “From then on I knew there could be good done by giving ATVS to veterans, and there are no other organizations like this out there. The Wounded Warrior Project only gives emergency cash and emergency food to the homeless veterans, and we are trying to uplift the spirits of the veterans before they get down that low.”
The idea is that veterans will send in a 10-15 second video campaign of why they think they should receive the four wheeler, and what makes them stand out from all the others. All videos need to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and from there Cross and Burns will pick out a winner to give the custom four wheeler to that will be modified to suit the veterans specific condition. “For every veteran that dies in Iraq 25 commit suicide at home from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we plan to reduce that number by attempting to make them happy again.” Said Burns.
Cross and Burns have been planning several local events in the past two months in order to raise money so that they are able to purchase the four wheeler for the first lucky veteran who wins the modified ATV. Within the next month they are hosting a GPS scavenger hunt event that will consist of 20 veterans and 3 teams. The veterans will race to all the different GPS coordinates where they will receive proof that they have found the coordinate, and then they will race to the finish line. They are also planning a Giving Back Awesome campaign that entails people donating money and they will get to write their name on a pledge card that will be hung on the walls of local businesses that will show your support.
In order to expand the organization they are seeking help from local college students who are highly motivated. Off Road Heroes will be hiring approximately ten people in order to create 5 male/female sales teams. The job will include taking donations and selling ad space in order to raise money to help make this organization possible. They are accepting applications now and all interviews will be September 16-21. The organization also accepts online donations at offroadheroes.org.