This November I am beyond excited to announce our first ever-military month and to be supporting the charity “Help Our Military Heroes.” Why now? Why did we choose this? Who are they?
Let me answer these for you as this is probably the most important and most personal thing I’ve gotten to do with EDJE Activ so far.
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to work with a military organization but had to find the right time. Then it came to me, what better time than November? A month that celebrates Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and has the love of the holiday season. Not to mention, November includes this little day called “Black Friday” which will allow us the ability to donate even more than we normally could.
So why did I choose to work with a military charity? It is far more complex for me and runs so deep that I struggle with writing it all down. I have probably rewritten this post 18 times by now. I want to tell you this story, it is the closest thing to my heart, so I hope the words do it justice.
In college, I was blessed to make some of the greatest friends ever, and as it happens many of them were in ROTC. So, enter stage left, my best friend Jonam Russell. Best friends, roommates, I called him my brother. After college, he went off to do his army thing and we started talking about life outside of our party bubble. We picked out who each other should marry, the jobs we should eventually have, and even where he wanted to retire, (he wanted to be on a farm in the middle of nowhere … all you dude.)
The stories close is hard to tell, but I promise you it has a beautiful ending.
Jonam went to Afghanistan in 2013 as a 2nd LT platoon leader. Please know that he fought tooth and nail to go on this tour. He wanted this so badly and he made it known to his higher ups. However, many months into his tour and in a selfless act, on July 23rd, 2013 Jonam was killed in action. I replay this day over and over, and it’s a day I will ever forget. Forgive the brevity, this is about all I can write on that day.
Now, fast forward just two months, and to explain my ongoing passion for military service.
A friend of mine was hosting a yoga class for her brother, who at the time was on tour in Afghanistan. So I went, and I wrote a note to him; which is usually weird for a stranger to do but my head space was weird. About a month later, I got a response. His name was Christian Stauffer (spoiler alert!) and I believe he was truly sent to me by my best friend. Did I mention he knew my best friend (swoon!) If you’ve been following along with EDJE you know this relationship grew to more than just pen pals!
A quick wife bragging moment – my husband, Christian, is my hero. He has accomplished more in his life than I could even dream of. He is strong, he wants to do good, his goals in life are literally to make a difference and help others. He cares, he’s giving, every choice he has made so far has been for the greater good and is selfless and loving.
Now this sounds like a love letter to my husband, and it is! I am beyond proud of who he is and the choices he’s made in his life. I truly believe that choosing to serve in the military is the greatest job someone could do. It isn’t for everyone and that’s ok. Yet for those of you that can do it, it is everything.
So who are “Help Our Military Heroes” and what do they do? Founded in 2009, Help Our Military Heroes (HOMH) honors our wounded service men and women who have served in recent conflicts and are recovering from severe injuries that require modified minivans.
HOMH is a registered 501c3, non-profit organization dedicated to providing fully equipped, adaptive minivans to our country’s most severely wounded, injured and ill service men and women who sustained their injuries while on active duty since the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. HOMH is donation-driven; ALL non-program expenses are paid by its founding and board members, which means 100% of public donations go toward the purchase of modified minivans for our heroes, as well as support for other programs that help the wounded and injured. HOMH recognizes that every case is different and works with each individual to provide a minivan with modifications specific to his or her needs.
We will be featuring them all month long as well as donating! So any holiday shopping with us will be helping out a greater good!
You can also donate directly right here
And read more about them right here