Recently Transit Systems helped one US Veteran pay it forward to another Veteran, and this charitable shipment is a "feel good" story all the way around.
We were contacted by a gentleman who wanted to ship a power wheelchair from West Plains, MO to Knoxville, TN. At a quick glance this looks like any of the 8,000 shipments TSI does annually, but after you peel back a layer you can see this is a testament of good will and the good (giving) nature of Americans. Richard requested a quote to ship a power wheelchair to Knoxville, to benefit a disabled veteran. The wheelchair was a Permobil brand wheelchair, and their motto is "Changing Lives" - a passionate company mantra that has a big impact on people's lives. This power wheelchair was fairly heavy, so the cost to ship it was higher than a regular wheelchair would be. Liz in our shipping team asked management to take a look at this shipment and what it was for. TSI discounted the cost of shipping the chair considerably, and the shipment went forward. So far, this is a typical TSI charitable shipment. On following up with Richard about the shipment we learned so much more, and it gives everything that much more meaning. We asked how this situation came to be, and we learned that Richard had traveled to Knoxville to buy a dog, and that the person who was the dog breeder was a disabled veteran.When he arrived in Knoxville, Richard (also an Army Veteran), saw that the power wheelchair the disabled veteran was using wasn't that good, and he felt compelled to take action. Back home in Missouri, Richard was a member of a local organization (a saddle club) that had a Permobil wheelchair that had been donated for auction purposes, and at that moment he had a better idea for it. He contacted the saddle club and got clearance to donate the wheelchair to his new-found friend. Fast forward to TSI's involvement - we basically helped one veteran help another, and that speaks volumes all on it's own. TSI didn't know that Richard was also a veteran, but that didn't matter.
We're glad to have found this out later because it adds more meaning to something we participated in. This also says a lot about Richard - for having the unselfish thought to help someone in need. What struck me (the author of this post) was that the disabled veteran was raising dogs (a very challenging task) from a wheelchair - which is not an easy thing to do. We were happy to be involved, and even happier now knowing the full story. To Richard in West Plains, MO - we thank you for thinking of someone else and doing something positive. To the recipient, an Army Veteran who is riding in a better Power wheelchair, we are happy to hear that you're leading an active life and doing something you love. We salute you both and thank you for your service to your country. We need more people in this country like these two veterans.