Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen are deployed across the globe, going in harm’s way to preserve and protect our freedom. Servicemen and women selflessly give up their freedoms on our behalf by leaving friends and family behind as they serve our country. Unfortunately, when many heroes come home, they begin a new battle that is tough to overcome: homelessness. One in 10 homeless adults across the United States is a veteran. Hedrick Gardner sought to change that reality by supporting the Independence Fund. The result of their efforts was a generous donation of 420 hygiene care kits for veterans! The event took place at the Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 8, 2023.

Hedrick Gardner worked with Impact 4 Good (, a company that runs teambuilding programs, to plan an event that would be fun and meaningful for participants, while making a difference. The program selected was called the “Escape Room”. During the activity, participants divided into teams to solve a series of challenges, puzzles, and clues; they worked together and used excellent collaboration skills to solve the ultimate challenge to “escape the room”. The real purpose of getting together, however, was to give back to a local community in need, that is near and dear to the hearts of many. Participants learned about challenges veterans face when they come home and how the hygiene care kits will impact their lives, and while there were winning teams based on performance in the activities, the real winners were the veterans associated with the Independence Fund.

Since 2007, the Independence Fund has empowered the nation’s catastrophically wounded, injured, or ill Veterans to overcome the physical, mental and emotional wounds incurred in the line of duty. From innovative mobility and adaptive technologies and therapies, to suicide prevention, to caregiver and family support, the Independence Fund believes that every service member, veteran and their families should be able to have their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual independence restored. Josh Wood, Chief Partnership Officer at the Independence Fund, attended the event to thank the participants in person. Afterwards, Josh went on to say, “We are so grateful for your partnership. Your generous donation will be put to use caring for individuals right here in NC. At the Independence Fund, we believe every servicemember, Veteran, Caregiver, their families, and those Allies who served in combat alongside our troops, who have been affected by their service to our Nation, should be able to have their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual independence restored.”

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Annie Saleh
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(704) 319-5456