As individuals and as corporate citizens, the Kellstrom Defense team also works hard to make a difference in our local communities. We firmly believe in doing the right thing and making a difference. We have established partnerships with several charitable organizations where employees are contributing their time and monetary support such as:
Most people only know the Shriner’s organization as the people who wear funny red hats and drive funny little cars, but there's so much more to their story and history.
The Shriners International company describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth.
Dennis Asburry, Director of Repair Management, has been an active volunteer for Shriners International for over seventeen years. Both he and his brother joined the organization in 2001; with their father already an active member, they now have three generations actively participating. In 2016, his son, nephew, and his best friend also decided to join after seeing all the wonderful things they were doing to help children in need.
Dennis said that his favorite part of volunteering is becoming a “roadrunner,” transporting patients and their parents from South Florida to the Shriner Hospital in Tampa, Florida for appointments, therapies, and outpatients’ surgeries. Dennis also enjoys having the opportunity to participate in nineteen parades throughout the year, hosted in the South Florida area from the Florida Keys to North Broward County.
When asked of what could be his fondest memory amongst so many deeds, Dennis spoke of seeing a young man walk very fast at the Shriners Hospital in Tampa. The man held up his crutches in the air and yelled to his parents that he didn't need them anymore. He was fitted with a new prosthetic leg that allowed him to walk without them. They all had tears of excitement and joy as they came together for a hug.
We teared up too when he told us the story.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is one of the largest pediatric sub-specialty health care systems in the world, providing specialized care to children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. They are dedicated to improving the lives of children through innovative care, world-class research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Each of their twenty-two locations specializes in one or more of their broad service lines. All care and services are provided to children up to age eighteen, regardless of the families' ability to pay.
VP/GM Kellstrom Defense, Repair Services
New Hope Missions & Journey Church
Dave has been a volunteer with New Hope Missions & Journey Church for the past ten years. This organization sponsors four churches and schools in northern Haiti and provides children and their families with food, healthcare, education for the children, and a place to worship.
Dave joined following a conversation with a good friend who shared with him, “those who have been blessed, have a responsibility to bless others”.
Dave hasn't looked back since, volunteering his time through several mission trips to Haiti. He says that the best part of volunteering is having the opportunity to give back selflessly to enrich the lives of others.
Volunteering has had its challenges, due to the lack of safety precautions in Haiti when building roofs 30-40 feet off the ground. Luckily, there have been no injuries during the mission trips.
When we asked Dave to recall his best volunteer memory with New Hope, he shared, “the first time I went into a remote village giving out rice and beans and praying for people, my initial thought was that the villagers just wanted the rice and beans, but when all the rice and beans ran out, we still had crowds of people asking us to come to their houses/huts to pray over them and their families. It is extremely rare in this region of the world to allow outsiders into the villages, much less into their homes, yet here we were being pulled from one home to the next praying with these people and being accepted. What I thought would be an hour-long event turn into an all-day affair. I left the village that day with my heart filled and a new understanding that this was not just a mission to change others’ lives, it was a mission to change mine.”
Thank you, Dave, for sharing your volunteering experience with us.