Veteran "Paying it Forward" with Products for Good

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Vietnam War veteran Jim Peters has a new pay-it-forward approach to thanking fellow veterans. He recently began handing out mementos from philanthropic business Products for Good to those he meets on his travels. He says his goal is to make sure all veterans are thanked for their service, something he didn't receive until years after returning from war. Products for Good also donates 20 percent of each sale to military-centric charities.

When I see the expression on people's faces after presenting the gift to them, it makes everything worth it

It all started with a Golden Corral and a complete stranger. Vietnam veteran Jim Peters was dining with his wife near their Virginia home six months ago when he noticed a fellow veteran sitting nearby. Remembering his cold reception after returning from the Vietnam War, Peters felt the urge to offer the veteran a gift of honor and gratitude – something he wishes he had received. He found that gift with Products for Good (http://www.productsforgood.com ).

With money saved from his VA benefits, Peters’ desire to thank another soldier has become a journey throughout the South, handing out dozens of patriotic Products for Good gifts to complete strangers he meets at grocery store parking lots and gas stations along the way.

A truck driver by trade, Peters carries the commemorative items on the road, presenting them with a story and a hand shake whenever he encounters another soldier or veteran.

“When I see the expression on people’s faces after presenting the gift to them, it makes everything worth it,” Peters said.

Peters also appreciated the philanthropic component to Products for Good, which donates 20 percent of every sale to a charity that supports military families. The company’s items feature liberated Iraqi coins recovered by coalition forces in Basra, who used proceeds of their sale to rebuild an orphanage that had been destroyed in the area. As a result, the coins have become a symbol of service, sacrifice and commitment from our men and women in uniform.

“(Peters’) ambition to extend the message of thanks and honor to our veterans and service people is completely in line with what we do every day at Products for Good,” said Lane Ostrow, co-founder of Products for Good. “We were inspired and enlightened to hear (Peters’) story, and are glad we can be a part of his ongoing mission.”

Peters primarily offers the Products for Good single coin in a velvet case, but also is looking into the more customizable products – shadowboxes and pendants – for veterans he knows in his community. Peters says he’ll continue giving away the mementos as long as he can, and he has a stash of coins in the bed of his semitrailer to prove it.

About Products for Good
Charlotte, N.C.-based Products for Good is a philanthropic business that sells commemorative gifts, using liberated Iraqi coins that represent freedom and the sacrifices made to preserve it, to honor men and women in uniform. Products for Good donates 20 percent of each purchase, before any other business expenses are paid, to charities that support those who have served our country and their families. And in keeping with its mission to make every gift you give help as many as possible, each shadowbox is assembled at Cleveland Vocational Industries (CVI), a facility that provides work opportunities for mentally and physically challenged individuals. For more information, visit ProductsforGood.com.

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Anna Sowa
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