THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF COMPANIES SUCH AS ELITE ROOFING, MANY MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE REALIZED THEIR ACADEMIC AMBITIONS.
What inspired Elite Roofing to give to Support Our Troops?
I think over the last ten years the profile of the Canadian Armed Forces has become more prominent. You started to see things like honoring of soldiers at hockey
games, the Highway of Heroes and Canada started demonstrating a more active role in their support of the Canadian Armed Forces. And we said, “you know what,
some of these young men and women are sacrificing their lives, or they are coming back injured and wounded and have to live through those injuries, physical or emotional, and carry on through life, and where is the social network to support them?”
Elite Roofing has been a long-standing supporter of Support Our Troops’ National Scholarship Program. Why do you think scholarships for
military families are so important?
I think that scholarships gives hope to the younger generation of military families. That even though they may not be serving men and women themselves, they have been moved from place to place, dealt with deployments, and we as a country have to give back to them to give them hope, encouragement and support, so they can become the best that they can be. I think that as Canadian citizens we owe it to them to do that.
I know you have spoken with some of the students Elite Roofing has supported this past year. What did you take away from those conversations? Do you have an anecdote that moved you?
In speaking with one of the candidates, he described to us his life and I was in shock about how he was born in Quebec, and then he lived in Ottawa, and then Alberta,
and then Newfoundland. “Home” is his last address is what I took away from the conversation. It really is difficult. It is something I wouldn’t have put together, it’s
not intuitive, it’s not obvious. It’s not the life we live as Canadians. We are born into a family, and grow up in a neighborhood and a community, we make the friends we make, we go to school. But these military kids are changing schools every couple of years, moving to different parts of the country and have to get re-acquainted. It quite
impressed me. You think about it, but you do not think about it in that way until you have someone explain it to you.
How do you hope these scholarships will affect the lives of students?
One of the things that I thought was important was to reach out to a couple students who were recipients of the scholarship funds. It inspires our team to see the profiles of the people we are helping and can see that we are taking an active role. Our business is like a family, the military is part of the Canadian family and we have to support them. I think knowing that there are other people in Canada that support them, gives
them more than just the financial aid that they need, I think it gives them support and encouragement to continue and to persevere through the various challenges they might have.
What would you say to someone who is considering donating to the National Scholarship Program?
I would say “Don’t wait!” Donate as much as you can, as soon as you can- it is money well spent. The applicants are all very deserving. The need greatly exceeds the amount of available funds and it’s actually sad when I’ve read profiles to think that only a select number would get the support in order to continue with their education. It’s unfortunate.
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