Shortly after I was hired at MTU America, Inc. in Mankato, I was tasked with either throwing away or donating all of the slightly used safety shoes that we had acquired from when employees left the company. It was clear to me that we should donate them to people who could really benefit from a good pair of safety shoes. Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans was the first organization to come to mind because they offered help to Veterans re-entering the job market. When most Veterans are looking for a job, they look in the construction and manufacturing industries.
Why was donating these shoes important to me? Simple: most jobs in the construction and manufacturing industry require their employees to wear safety shoes at work. But it went deeper than that. For me, it hit home when I remembered what it was like when I left the Marines and had to look for a job. When I was finally hired as an assembler in the manufacturing realm, I had a new worry about finding a pair of safety shoes so I could start my new job.
The biggest challenge that Veterans face when they get out of the military is trying to get back to some sort of normality. And if only a handful of these safety shoes that were donated make it into the hands of a Veteran in need, then the donation was well worth it. Even though the donation of slightly used safety shoes may seem trivial, it means the world to a Veteran looking for a break when everything seems hard for them — the smallest of gifts or a positive comment can give them hope that better days are on the way.
Choosing MACV as the organization to take the donation wasn’t a hard choice to make, as they do so much for our local Veteran community here in Mankato. I knew there was a need in the community and am thankful that I was in a position to help.
-Philip Daniel, Health, Safety, and Environmental Advisor
MTU America, Inc.
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