Unemployed Iraq Veteran’s Last Resort
Unemployed Iraq Veteran’s Last Resort, Bill Shephard sells his Army medal on eBay and receives an overwhelming response. It’s feel-good Friday on Trending Now. We’ve got two stories that will restore your faith in the kindness of strangers. First up, it’s no secret that veterans returning from war often have a hard time finding a job. When Bill Shephard, 43, from Woodbury, New Jersey, came home from Iraq in 2009, he returned to his previous job at Best Buy — that is, until his department shut down. After his unemployment ran out, Shephard worked odd jobs to provide for his wife and kids, but he couldn’t make ends meet. That’s when he turned to his last resort. Hoping to raise enough money to buy a lawnmower and start a landscaping business, he made a painful decision: He would sell the Achievement Medal he had earned in the Army. Shephard put the medal on eBay, along with a message explaining his intentions. Word spread quickly, and eBay users were so touched by the veteran’s resourcefulness, the bidding price soared. It topped out at a whopping $5,200. Offers of clothes, jobs, and other donations also came in. Said Shephard, “It was beyond anything I would have ever expected.”
Next, when Diana Kelly, a regional manager for Starbucks, noticed a homeless man at one of her Virginia locations, she was inspired to start a grassroots effort to help a community in dire need. The man, named Dominic, told Kelly he lived in the woods near the store, along with dozens of others. Kelly knew she had to help. She got together with other Starbucks managers and employees and set out bins by the registers to collect food, clothing, and toiletries. Her team formed a nonprofit called Project Dominic, which distributes bags of much-needed items to 300 homeless people in the area on a bimonthly basis. Their tagline is “Renewing Hope, Renewing Dignity.” Visit Projectdominic.com to learn how you can help by donating items (soap, toothpaste, tents, blankets), money, or simply your time.