JRM Supports Unilever, Camp4Heroes for National Day of Service

Ron Lemasters | 6/11/2021

Camp4Heroes News Unilever United For America

As part of the Unilever National Day of Service, a group of JR Motorsports employees traveled to eastern North Carolina to help at Camp4Heroes.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 11, 2021) - On May 21, a group of JR Motorsports employees traveled to eastern North Carolina to help at Camp4Heroes as part of Unilever's National Day of Service.

The experience for one of them, IT Director Martin Friedrich, was profound.

Friedrich, a German native who served in his country's armed forces, was there to help with some of the projects identified by Camp4Heroes' leader, John Woodall. The 184-acre site is a retreat for severely injured veterans, firefighters, police officers, and their caregivers, located in Fairmont, N.C., between Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune. It features a 10-acre lake and exists as a place of refuge and healing.

Friedrich, an avid boater who spends much of his spare time at sea, volunteered to paint the dock on the lake. He also got to know a little bit more about Camp4Heroes and Unilever, a cornerstone partner at JR Motorsports.

"When I got the invitation, I saw it was a sponsor initiative from a very good, long-term sponsor of ours in Unilever." Friedrich said. "The cause (Camp4Heroes and the National Day of Service) was very cool and intriguing: a local group that is very appropriate and very honorable. I have friends in the military out there, and they're close by. You can't do enough for our military and our heroes. I was positively surprised by the setup, the people there, the organizers, Captain Woody..."

Friedrich, a naturalized U.S. citizen, served in his birth country's armed forces as a young man, so there was some basis for him to understand why Camp4Heroes is so important.

"Obviously, my own military service pales in comparison to theirs, because I've never seen combat or been actively deployed like these guys have," he said. "I picked up the weapon for my country and did my service, but the people at Camp4Heroes, they came back and not only have served their country, but they've contributed to the purpose and interests we have abroad.

"Some of them have severe injuries. In my opinion, that (serving) is one of the most honorable things you can ever do. You go in knowing that you can be injured, that the risk of being injured is high, and you do all of this for your brothers and sisters at home and the citizens of this country. That's very noble."

Painting the dock was one of several areas Friedrich could help with, and he chose it immediately.

"I raised my hand there because I am a boater and it was an opportunity for me to apply skills that are among my best. It was fun, a lot of fun," he said.

It also let him consider what Unilever and JR Motorsports have done with their support for Camp4Heroes.

"I really had a good time, besides the work. Captain Woody showed us the area there, and I even got an introduction to his neighbor, who is also German (and is a blacksmith who works with the Camp4Heroes). I got to talk to John Woodall and understood a little bit better what the background is, his mission with the camp and the support he gets from Unilever. My immediate thought was that this is one of the best causes a company can support. We have a foundation here, The Dale Jr. Foundation, and they help many people and organizations. Our military and first-responders, firefighters...they had relics from 9/11 there from the World Trade Centers. The danger and threat to your own life and health that is associated with it...it’s just one of the noblest things a human can do, in my opinion. Unilever choosing this particular camp as a focus of their mission to support just speaks to their grace in this regard.

"It definitely reflects giving back in a very positive way."

Unilever made a $100,000 donation to Camp4Heroes as part of its National Day of Service as well, continuing its support for the valuable work done there by Woodall and his staff. Unilever United States provided an estimated $12 million of support for Americans in need over the day-long event.

In addition, Justin Allgaier's No. 7 Chevrolet raced a special paint scheme on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, featuring Camp4Heroes, Unilever and the U.S. Armed Forces Commissary. He finished 11th in the 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity Series event. A large group from Camp4Heroes and Unilever was in attendance.

"It was great getting to meet and spend time with the group from Camp4Heroes," the Illinois native said. "The work that they are doing is phenomenal and it was really special to get to talk and interact with everyone. I thought our car looked awesome as well with the camouflage look to accompany the Unilever United for America Camp4Heroes logos in Charlotte and it was great knowing that everyone was able to come out for the race and see the car in action from the suites. It was really a special weekend for sure."

A group from Camp4Heroes came to JR Motorsports and toured the 66,000-square-foot facility on the Friday before the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte, and the group was able to attend the event, Woodall said.

"It was pretty incredible," he said. "It was a pretty big deal for them. Tom McCray, somebody who has come through the camp, I didn't know he was such a big NASCAR fan. When I started talking to him about this weekend, it kind of gradually built to where I realized he was really into this. He brought his RV and put it in Turn 1 and he got to watch the race from there and Sunday’s as well. Every time I spoke to him he was all smiles, just over the top. Every time we talked, he said how much he appreciated the opportunity to get out and experience an event like that. It was such a big deal for him."

McCray, an IED specialist in the military, is a triple amputee.

Seeing the Camp4Heroes logo on Allgaier's car and some of the signed memorabilia the group received for the weekend was a big deal as well, Woodall said, and those in one of the CMS suites avidly cheered for Allgaier, who finished 11th on Saturday.

"I don't think people realize...for a lot of people it doesn't seem like a big deal. ‘We can put this logo on a car, we can have a suite for these guys...’ It becomes part of a job for a team, people who are really good at that like JR Motorsports and Hirschfeld Marketing Solutions, and they were all so accommodating. That simple act literally changes lives, really makes a difference in people’s lives, and people should know that. With all the craziness in the world, there are still some amazing people doing great things for people who deserve it. For us, that was a validation of that."

Woodall and his family have been working with veterans since just after 9/11, and the camp itself is five years old. The efforts of companies like Unilever and JR Motorsports are intrinsic to what they do there, and they are much appreciated, he said.

"We do a lot of the work here, but we couldn't do what we do without support from companies like Unilever," Woodall said. "We're working on some various sustainable income plans to push us through and to make it where it's not solely based on donations. It makes a huge impact for a grassroots organization like ours to have the support and understanding of companies like Unilever.

"This is an absolute sanctuary for these men and women."



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