Several days a week, Jim Gray can be found volunteering at HFOT’s headquarters office in Taunton, Massachusetts. A proud Navy Veteran, Gray is usually sporting a baseball cap adorned with an array of military insignias and HFOT pins.
Gray has helped the organization since its early days in 2004, most recently assisting the Development Department with donor correspondence and HFOT mailings. During the busy year-end giving season, Jim helps process over 500 donor thank you letters daily, allowing the HFOT staff to work on other tasks. Usually arriving 15 minutes early every volunteer shift, Jim stays until the job is done. When he works a full day, he only stops briefly to eat lunch. Employees try to get him to stay and chat on their lunch breaks, but he insists that he needs to get back to work as soon as possible.
Jim served as a Radarman aboard the destroyer USS Willis A. Lee. During his service, he deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Mediterranean Sea. “I am thankful for my military service and having served my country,” he says. Currently, he is an active member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 57 and serves as their Officer of the Deck.
HFOT never seems to leave Jim’s mind, even while traveling. During his vacation, he sent HFOT employees a postcard, and brought back pictures to share with the staff. At a Naval Reunion in 2016 out in California, he brought along some HFOT materials to distribute to fellow Veterans to spread awareness about HFOT’s cause. Last year, Jim received a special commendation from HFOT for helping the organization propel its mission of building adapted homes for injured Veterans. “I am really humbled and proud to be part of an organization such as this one,” says Jim. “My hope is that a new home will make a drastic difference in the lives of these Veterans and their families, and that it gives them peace of mind and comfort,” he says.
Looking to get involved? Visit hfotusa.org/help to find dozens of ways to stay connected to our cause.