Blog / What is the Orange Heart Fund?

 

Your Scrap Steel Can Help a Veteran!

Orange HeartThis is a story of just how creative and generous business owners can be. While attending his normal business group meeting a steel recycling company executive listened to the speaker talk about Veterans exposed to Agent Orange. The presentation touched his heart stirring up a desire in him to take action. He contacted the speaker from the non-profit after the meeting and presented a truly inspirational idea to raise funds. Since then, many more kind hearts have joined the team.

Inland Northwest companies and community groups are joining forces to sponsor and participate in fund raising efforts for the “Orange Heart Fund”. You may be wondering what that is. “Orange” in the title refers to the Veterans from Vietnam who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange. “Heart” refers to having a kind and generous heart, it also is closely aligned with the “Purple Heart Medal” awarded to wounded Vets. In the logo, the heart is not purple because it is all about the effects Agent Orange has had on the health of returning Veterans and their families.

The Scrap Metal Recycling Program is a “Grassroots” idea suggested by the Pacific Steel and Recycling plant in Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They are setting up collection bins at convenient locations and after processing will donate funds directly to the “Orange Heart Fund”. At this point it is a pilot program with locations in a limited number of locations in northern Idaho and easter Washington. If this succeeds they are willing to put collection areas at other locations.

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) members have volunteered to help man the donation sites at Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene Idaho. They are in the process of setting up a volunteer truck brigade to pick up recyclables from people who do not have a means to transport scrap to the donation locations provided. The local Police departments have assured that they will monitor sites. Bin locations are being scheduled for a local grocery store at The Trading Company Grocery Store parking lot in Post Falls, and Super 1 Foods in Hayden ID, a future location is being worked out with the Kootenai Tribe Casino in Worley Idaho.

This does not sound very impressive until you take a look at their website and see where they are, and how many locations they do have. Pacific Steel and Recycling has more than 30 locations across the Northwest portion of the United States, they spread far and wide. There are offices from Washington to the Dakotas and north to south from just across the border in Canada all the way south to Colorado.

  • British Columbia — 1 location
  • Washington — 5 locations
  • Idaho — 10 locations
  • Montana — 12 locations
  • North Dakota — 1 location
  • South Dakota — 1 location
  • Utah — 3 locations
  • Oregon — 1 location
  • Utah — 1 location
  • Colorado — 1 location

It becomes quite evident that this recycling program could have far-reaching effects for our environment. This could inspire clean-up and environmental consciousness awareness throughout the population of 10 states. Out of the 50 states in our nation, ten states is 1/5, think about that! Would we then be conserving 1/5 more of our natural resources? If 1/5 more the Americans choose to participate in a clean up effort great improvements could be seen, literally.

A simple idea can change the world. Metal scrap can be cleaned up and recycled to raise funds for Veterans and their sick and disabled children who have been effected by the exposure to Agent Orange. It is amazing to realize that the junk lying around in garages and yards can be collected and donated to help a Vet receive better medical care and assistance with caring for their disabled children.

It is pretty simple to load up the scrap and bring it in to one of the Pacific Steel and Recycling locations or to other business’ hosting a collection container. The containers will be marked for the “Orange Heart Scrap Metal Recycling Program”. There is a list available of the locations on the VST website. By participating in this recycling effort, we improve things for our back yards, our planet, and our Veterans and it just makes good sense.

Veteran Services Transparency (“VST”), a registered non-profit 501(c)(19) was formed to draw attention to the tragedies of the postwar deaths and sicknesses of soldiers returning home from Vietnam, the Gulf Wars – Operation Iraq Freedom (OIF), and the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). VST is an organization dedicated to helping make a difference in the life of Veterans today!