Yellow Ribbon Fund founding chairman ties a ribbon on eight years
More than $8 million raised in its first eight years of ‘Welcoming Our Injured Service Members Home’ is only part of the story of the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based organization started byDecorating Den Interiors chairman and International Franchise Association Hall of Fame member James S. Bugg, Sr., and a group of his friends.
Bugg, of Chevy Chase, Md., has served as the only chairman of the Yellow Ribbon Fund, but this month he tied a ribbon on his official role and passed those responsibilities on to fellow co-founder Ed Quinn, chairman of building materials company TW Perry.
“It is the person-to-person direct help we give to so many of our injured service members and their families that is so meaningful, and I aim to continue in as much of that as possible,” says Bugg. “Our core services, which we’ve provided since the beginning, are free hotels, rental cars, and cab rides for family members of service personnel in local hospitals. We get to know many of these families in a very close way and see how they come together to meet the challenges they face because of combat injuries. Our volunteers give countless hours of mentoring and guidance.”
The Yellow Ribbon Fund (www.yellowribbonfund.org) keeps a close record of its services so donors can see real impact. To date, the fund has provided:
67,382 free rental car days from 1,818 free rental cars
22,270 free taxicab rides
13,218 free hotel nights
12,679 free apartment nights
Thousands of free tickets to local events.
While its support network has grown to more than 7000 donors, Bugg is especially proud that the Yellow Ribbon Fund is rated as one of the top veteran’s organizations on the Great Nonprofits website and as one of the 68 best small charities in the Washington, D.C. area by the Catalogue for Philanthropy. “Since our beginning, 83 cents of every dollar spent has gone to meet the needs of injured service members and their families,” he says.
“Jim Bugg brought a great combination of passion for our injured vets, an eye to see their future needs, and the friends and resources to help move a fledgling organization along to success,” says Mark Robbins, executive director. “By any standard, the Yellow Ribbon Fund has measured up to be one of the premiere nonprofits that support our injured service members and their families. He was the right person at the right time – and no one could have done it better.”
“The greatest joys of Jim’s tenure,” adds Robbins, “have been his friendships with the injured service members, their caregivers, and hospital staff we serve. At Poverty Point, his property on the Eastern Shore, the injured and their wives and girlfriends have enjoyed weekends hunting, fishing and basking in the great outdoors. To ensure that even wheelchair-bound service members could join in, Jim built a wooden deck on the water’s edge and turned it into a duck blind.”
Many of Decorating Den Interiors franchise owners have presented interior design workshops throughout the country to raise money for the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
(photo by Susan Privot)
Jim Bugg, Sr with Marine Corporal Todd Love at the Chevy Chase Club fundraiser this past summer in Chevy Chase, Md. Love is a triple amputee, wounded when he stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol in Afghanistan
ABOUT DECORATING DEN INTERIORS:
Established in 1969, DDI is the largest home furnishing franchise business in North America. Each interior decorator has access to thousands of samples of designer window, wall, floor covering, furniture and accessory products, all brought directly to the each client’s home or office. Decorating Den’s experts are featured in interior decorating magazines, journals and books, such as “Decorating…the Professional Touch,” by Decorating Den’s Director of Design, Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID, DDCD.