Military service is a bond like no other.
Yet, despite their different journeys and the tremendous sacrifices our servicemembers make, financial instability is a common thread when they return home. In fact, 55% of veterans believe they aren’t prepared for a financial emergency and are twice as likely to have debt carried over from month to month.
Enter “Made Ready to Drive Forward,” a partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, and our way of changing course for veterans by raising awareness of their stories and issues, and providing them with financially empowering and life-changing resources.
Over the past six years, we committed seven fully-renovated, mortgage-free homes to deserving veterans and their families. In 2021, amidst a global pandemic, we took things on the road, gifting payment-free vehicles to three different veteran and Gold Star families in Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit—in one day.
In Michigan, we met a retired, USMC Corporal, Richard. In Boston, we honored the late Edgar with his Gold Star family, Sue and Alex. And in New Jersey, we met a wounded USMC veteran, Edwin.
Each family told a familiar story: one financial emergency could be a breaking point.
In close partnership with the Military Warrior Support Foundation, armed with insight from the 2020 Military Financial Readiness Survey, and driving human-centric storytelling, we used the power of content, digital and social media to help underscore the impact of financial support (like a new vehicle) on the livelihood of families like Richard’s, Sue’s and Edwin’s.
Our plan: award 3 payment-free vehicles to 3 Gold Star families in three regions.
The challenge: hosting three, separate, hybrid events giving the cars away in person in three different cities in one day, and connecting remote audiences for a seamless experience.
With a coordinated boots-on-the-ground approach, we delivered a robust Instagram Story series that showed a real-time look at each family receiving their new vehicle across each market over the course of one day (11/5/21).
We continued the narrative across our other social channels, covering in-depth features of the military families following the car giveaways (11/5/21 to 12/8/21).
Our plan to amplify veteran stories and raise awareness through emotional connection went a step beyond our initial goals, galvanizing 400 colleagues in the Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit market, and deepening our relationships with each veteran family and the veteran community.
“Made Ready to Drive Forward” garnered more than 24 million impressions, helping raise awareness for veterans and Gold Star families, and issues facing the community.
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