Michigan State University has been named a finalist for the first Operation Hat Trick Award for its commitment to improving injured U.S. veterans’ lives.
Operation Hat Trick, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans, has recognized Michigan State University’s outstanding efforts in generating awareness and support for the recovery of wounded U.S. combat veterans by naming the school as a finalist for its first Excellence in Service Award.
Operation Hat Trick donates a portion of each sale of OHT branded merchandise to those selected organizations that support the recovery of wounded service members and veterans. MSU has demonstrated its commitment to supporting veterans by generating sales of branded merchandise and promoting Operation Hat Trick at sporting events and through its social media channels.
MSU helped OHT fund veterans’ organizations by prominently displaying OHT products in its own retail locations and encouraging retailers who carry the university’s merchandise to do the same. It also promoted OHT to its social media followers, raising awareness of veterans’ issues. Combined, the university’s efforts generated thousands of dollars in donations to help veterans recover from the visible and invisible injuries suffered in combat.
OHT Founder and President Dot Sheehan presented the Excellence in Service Award on May 17 at the Collegiate Licensing Company’s Annual Seminar in Atlanta.
“Michigan State University has shown the kind of commitment to our veterans that we’re hoping to inspire all over the country,” Sheehan said. “Raising funds is a critical part of meeting their needs, but just as important is raising awareness of their struggles so we never forget our obligation to help them overcome their injuries and enjoy full lives.”
MSU was one of four finalists that included the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, and Fresno State University. The finalists were chosen based on their efforts to fully integrate OHT on their campuses through a presence in their bookstores and other retail outlets; promoting veterans’ causes through their social media properties; and helping generate sales to finance donations.
“It’s an honor for our university community to be recognized for its commitment to supporting veterans,” said Samantha Stevens, director of licensing. “Their generous response shows that everyone – students, fans, partner retailers – understands the freedoms we enjoy in this country are owed to the men, women and their families who have sacrificed so much.”
In addition to the award, OHT will make a $2500 donation to the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, whose mission is to support Michigan-based soldiers who serve and protect our country.
OHT is dedicated to American service members as they recover from the visible and invisible wounds of war and move past the traumas of battle so they can focus on their lives and families at home.
OHT donations have helped dozens of organizations that provide direct services and support to wounded service members and veterans. They include: Project Sanctuary, The Yellow Ribbon Fund, Easter Seals/Veterans Count, the Navy SEAL Foundation Semper Fi Fund, the Warrior Bonfire Project, Liberty House, Ironstone Farm, Mac-v Veterans Alliance, Homes for Our Troops, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The non-profit organization has partnered with hundreds of sports teams, including more than 270 universities and colleges, 130 high schools, 21 National Hockey League teams, more than 70 Minor League Baseball teams, and over 50 companies.