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Salute to Veterans
A Local Business Supports Disabled Veterans
From landscaping to repairing appliances, Matt Sarkela always finds time to support and salute veterans. As a former Marine, Sarkela, owner of Mr. Appliance® of Wilmington in Leland, N.C. has a rooted connection and compassion for disabled veterans.
During the month of December, Sarkela donated $5 from every service job to Step Up For Soldiers, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans and their families.
“People who have served our country gave everything to defend us,” Sarkela said. “Through our donations to Step Up For Soldiers, we can make sure that soldiers are taken care of so their sacrifices don’t go unnoticed.”
Sarkela, along with several other companies, including Mr. Appliance’s sister companies in the area, Mr. Rooter Plumbing®, Glass Doctor® and Mr. Electric®, raised $3,000 for Step Up For Soldiers. The companies donated the large check to the organization in a supported community ceremony.
“It was an incredible feeling to be able to present the check to an organization that appreciated every dollar and every salute,” Sarkela said. “I couldn’t believe how many people came out to support our efforts.”
The money raised will be used to touch the life of a local veteran who lost his eyesight in combat. The veteran has a dream to build a gym for the blind and from the efforts of Sarkela and the other companies, his dream will become a reality that will benefit the community for years to come.
This isn’t the first time Sarkela donated his time, money and services to the organization. In November, Sarkela partnered with the Junior Reserves Officer Trainings Corps (JROTC) to participate in the Veterans Day Step Up For Soldiers event. Sarkela along with two students from North Brunswick High School planted shrubs, raked leaves, shoveled dirt and laid brick at the 120th 30th Battalion North Carolina National Guard Fallen Soldiers Memorial. Sarkela and the students worked along side the soldiers of the USS Gravely, the Navy's newest destroyer to the US fleet, to make the memorial even more beautiful.
"It was great for the kids to be able to meet the sailors of the USS Gravely," Sarkela said. "It will be nice to know we contributed to a little piece of the memorial and had an opportunity to spend time with the sailors.”
As a thank you for the services provided by Sarkela and the students, a brick will be dedicated to the JROTC at the memorial.
“It takes time and resources to give, but what you receive in return is priceless,” Sarkela said. “Not only does Step Up for Soldiers appreciate our efforts, but so does the community.”
Communities love businesses that give back. The volunteers, the media and the local residents will support, refer and rely on companies, like Mr. Appliance of Wilmington for their future appliance repairs. Communities know that owners like Sarkela not only care about fixing appliances, they also care about fixing the customer, too.
“I am honored that my Mr. Appliance volunteers so much to Step Up For Soldiers,” Sarkela said. “Many heroes come home missing an arm or a leg and struggle dealing with their new life. Each effort is a small step to help a disabled soldier resume their life and continue to be a hero everyday.”
About Mr. Appliance®:
Mr. Appliance is North America’s leading appliance repair franchise system. Established in 1996, its franchises provide full-service residential and light commercial appliance repair. Mr. Appliance has more than 150 locations throughout the United States and Canada and is consistently ranked among the top home service franchises by Entrepreneur magazine and other industry experts. Mr. Appliance is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For more information, visit www.mrappliance.com.