Standing for Veterans
April 17, 2015 – Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) Team Member Jim Shaughnessy Honored at Spirit of Volunteerism Awards for Work with Homeless Veterans
The Small Business Growth Alliance (SBGA) is proud to announce Jim Shaughnessy, a former Marine Corps Service Member, as an honoree at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. Working as a Technology Specialist, Jim is an easy-going character loved by his family at home and work. Behind the good natured persona and amusing stories of his days serving in the military, however, lay the foundation of Jim’s passion for volunteering with veterans.
“I know first-hand the challenges of making the transition from military life to the civilian world. Some of the challenges that our veterans face are lack of real world training, physical disabilities, PTSD, and substance abuse issues, just to name a few. I was lucky enough to have an amazing support system that helped me make the transition and deal with the issues that I faced,” Jim explained. “Not everyone is that lucky.”
For his SBGA Volunteer Leadership Committee event, Jim was the project leader of the Veterans First Stand Down, an organization that aims to assist the homeless and at-risk veterans in the Orange County area. Working closely with the committee in charge of the event, Jim was able to secure time for SBGA volunteers to help improve the lives of veterans. Under Jim’s leadership, 154 volunteers were able to provide 150 veterans with care packets stuffed with sleeping bags and personal care items.
Once they had completed assembling care packets, Jim challenged each of his volunteers to speak to three veterans before leaving for the day, well aware that he was asking for more time from their weekend. So he was pleasantly surprised to find SBGA volunteers throughout the event grounds, sitting and talking to veterans. Jim himself stayed at the event for 13 hours, serving as a battle buddy to one of the many veterans in attendance.
“I feel it is important to give back to the men and women who gave so much to secure our freedoms,” Jim said. “The Stand Down event provided an excellent opportunity to give our heroes who have fallen on hard times a hand up.”
“Jim’s passion and commitment towards our day of service to these veterans was inspiring – I was watching a true leader in action,” Nathan Jurczyk, Vice President of SBGA and Co-Chair of this year’s Spirit of Volunteerism Awards commented. “He honored our deserving service men and women, strengthened our community, and represented our team well. I’m proud to have him honored at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards as a representative of SBGA.”
With Jim’s assistance, SBGA has become the fastest group of volunteers to work as a team to serve so many veterans in a short amount of time. Jim was honored on April 14th at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards as an Outstanding Community Volunteer.