Helping Dryhootch assist vets “survive the peace”

July 26, 2019By Acts of Kindness, Behind the Shelf Blog, Tradition of Giving

By Bruce Boulieu, art director, for the Tradition of Giving blog series

I am a firm believer that freedom isn’t free. The men and women serving our country pay a large price, and much of that cost comes once the uniform comes off as they try to readjust to civilian life. That is why I rallied the HRG marketing and business development teams to support Dryhootch with part of our portion of the company’s giving funds in 2018.dryhootch logo

In 2018, our company spent the year raising funds through various events such as casual days and lunches. Last year each department had the opportunity to collectively choose one or more groups we wanted to support. When decision-making time was happening, I had just recently learned about Dryhootch, which is near my home.

It was the name that first grabbed my attention — I knew “hootch” was military speak for a hut or safe place to sleep during combat. But I wondered about the “dry” part. Well, I soon found out that the term “dry” denotes their mission to provide a gathering place for vets that is free of alcohol. They established a café-like environment dedicated to, as they put it on their website, “helping Veterans who survived the war, survive the peace.”

In addition to being a gathering space, they offer peer-to-peer support and provide programs for employment aid, legal help, and aid with PTSD and addiction issues. When I told my colleagues what this organization does for our men and women in uniform, I didn’t have to do anything to convince them.

We were pleased to split our share of the designated funds among Dryhootch and two other well-deserving charities. However, it didn’t stop there — we ended up raising even more funds on our own to support the cause.

I’m not sure of the exact amount we donated, but I know with local organizations such as this one, every bit helps. I am so heartened by the fact that encouraging coworkers to give back is never a struggle or even a question — it is just what we do here. I encourage anyone reading to talk to their management team about starting their own tradition of giving — the benefits are beyond anything you could ever imagine, both for those you help and for your own company culture.