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August 1, 2017 > All-terrain Wheelchair Awarded to U.S. Army Veteran

All-terrain Wheelchair Awarded to U.S. Army Veteran

Submitted By Alyssa Auger

Continuing its mission of supporting hometown heroes, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation recently awarded a life-changing equipment grant to U.S. Army Veteran. Sgt. Christian Valle.

Sgt. Valle received an all-terrain wheelchair valued at $16,000 to help him regain his mobility and provide the independence to safely participate in outdoor recreational activities with his family. While on patrol in Balad, Iraq, a passing vehicle threw a mortar round and grenade at U.S. soldiers. The blast of the grenade, which exploded a few feet away from Sgt. Valle, led to the severe injury and eventual amputation of his legs. He spent over a year undergoing multiple leg surgeries and intense physical therapy.

ÒIt feels great to know weÕre helping Sgt. Valle on his road to recovery since his return home from Iraq,Ó said Meghan Vargas, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation senior manager of foundation development. ÒFirehouse Subs guests might not realize the spectrum of people theyÕre helping when making a donation to the Foundation. WeÕre very thankful to be able to give back to our first responders, as well as our armed service men and women who risk their lives every day for us.Ó

Despite losing both legs, Sgt. Valle continues to give back to his community and country, working as a dispatcher at Alameda County Fire Department for nine and a half years. Residents and Firehouse Subs guests are invited to join the celebration and see firsthand how their generous contributions have come full circle to help a hometown hero in need.

ÒThank you to Firehouse Subs for such a wonderful chair,Ó said Sgt. Valle. ÒThis chair will give me the freedom to pretty much go anywhere I want to go, no matter the terrain. Thank you to everyone involved and to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. I am very lucky to have been chosen to receive this all-terrain chair.Ó

Attendees of the award event included Sgt. Valle, as well as Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Senior Manager of Foundation Development Meghan Vargas, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Manager of Finance and Compliance Gina Brown and Firehouse Subs Area Representative and Franchisee Scott Kinner. Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when Firehouse Subs co-founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, traveled to Mississippi where they provided food to first responders and survivors. As they traveled back to Florida, they knew they could do more and Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has granted more than $28 million to hometown heroes in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, including more than $700,000 in California.

Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to Òround upÓ their bill to the nearest dollar. Grant allocations are made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of Firehouse Subs restaurants and generous donors.

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