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Uber Demonstrates Good Corporate Citizenship through $1 Million Donation

ubermil

By Debbie Gregory.

Uber has reached its goal of signing up 50,000 U.S. veterans as drivers. And to celebrate, the company is making a very generous donation to a number of veterans groups.

Uber is giving $1 million to a select few military organizations, including our friends at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Homes for our Troops. Also receiving funds will be the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The funding comes directly from Uber, based on recommendations from the company’s UberMilitary Advisory Board, which includes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

September, 2014 saw the launch of UberMilitary, giving former service members an opportunity to earn a flexible income. One of the goals of the campaign was to work with veterans and “empower them as entrepreneurs and small business owners.” Nearly half of the veterans who have signed up have started driving with the company, and Uber said it’s now focused on “getting more folks on the road.”

Emil Michael, senior vice president, spent stints in public service as a White House fellow and as an aide to Gates. After seeing how difficult it was for some veterans to find jobs upon leaving the armed forces, Michael said, he saw how Uber could fill a need.

“The thing that was missing was an income-earning opportunity that was extremely flexible,” Michael said. “When you come back, maybe you’re studying for your next degree, maybe you have medical issues.”

In addition to getting more veterans driving, the company is building a special savings program that will offer expanded and unique rewards to members of the UberMilitary community.

Uber also hopes to broaden its service to military passengers, and is possibly going to launch a program that will pay more to drivers will when they start or end a trip at a military base.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Uber and Lyft Offer Free Rides to Job-Seeking Vets

uber

By Debbie Gregory.

Arch rivals in the ride-sharing space, Uber and Lyft have put their differences aside for a good cause. Both companies have announced that they will offer free rides to homeless veterans trying to get to work opportunities.

This gesture could offer struggling veterans a little help where it’s really needed.

“We have heard time and again that transportation to and from work and job interviews is often a significant hurdle for homeless veterans trying to find work,” Air Force Col. Nicole Malachowski, the executive director of Joining Forces, said in a statement.

While Lyft has yet to offer any specific details on how it’ll be handling the ride program, Uber is promising that over the next year it’ll work with five veterans organizations affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program to provide around 10,000 free rides to jobs, interviews, and other employment events.

Uber estimates it will contribute 10,000 rides at an average ride of $10 to $12 — or $125,000 during the next year — to provide transportation for veterans to jobs, interviews and other employment events, said Kristin Carvell, a company spokesperson.

Uber also has pledged to onboard 50,000 service members, veterans and military spouses as partner drivers on the Uber platform.

Getting the homeless off the streets and into housing has been a major goal for the Department of Veterans Affairs. By using a voucher system that subsidizes most or all of the rent, the VA is seeing a lot of success. Once housing has been secured, the VA then works to provide the veterans with counseling, health care and other benefits.

VA spending on homelessness jumped from about $376 million in 2009 to about $1.5 billion last year, according to estimates by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.