The Warwick Beacon reports that Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts donated $27,500 to Homes for Our Troops recently, to help build a new, specially adapted barrier free home for Army Staff Sergeant Michael Downing from Middleboro, Mass.
The funds were generated during Dunkin’ Donuts’ Iced Coffee Day this spring, during which 5 cents for every small iced coffee purchased, was donated to Homes for Our Troops. In Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, 100 percent of the proceeds from each iced coffee sold were donated.
“On behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts and the Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation, I am so proud to make this donation, and am thankful to my fellow franchisees and our loyal customers for helping to make this contribution possible,” said Joe Prazeres, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee and board member of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation.
Army SSG Michael Downing was on his second deployment when he was left a double amputee after an IED explosion in Afghanistan in September 2008. The force of the blast threw SSG Downing from his truck, throwing him into enemy territory, unprotected. Quick action by patrol leaders secured the area, all the while exchanging small arms fire as the medics worked to aid the wounded.
SSG Downing, after calling out to each of his team members to check on their conditions, suddenly realized he had irreversible damage to both of his legs and a severely injured arm as well. He was placed on the hood of a truck and rolled to a more secure area. Transported first to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, he was later airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany and finally to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he remains at this time.
Homes for Our Troops has completed 48 specially adapted homes since its inception in 2004. Currently there are 33 homes in various stages of construction throughout the United States. The financial support from organizations like the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation and volunteer commitment from General Contractors MCD International and Regency significantly decreases building time by 25 percent, from groundbreaking to the presentation of the keys taking approximately six months. The average cost of each home, depending on location is approximately $275,000. All homes are presented to the veteran at no cost.