Today we’d like to introduce you to Jimmy Rogers.
While on active duty onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2015, aviation mechanic and Boots For Troops founder Jimmy Wayne Rogers noticed a need. His fellow crewmen were often lonely and missing the comforts of home, and when care packages came, they were often filled with poor quality items or things they didn’t need. Although sent by caring individuals, there was nothing personal about the packages that really touched each person’s heart.
Jimmy knew there had to be a better way. So, while still aboard ship, he launched a GoFundMe campaign that was the start of Boots For Troops. Shortly thereafter, his fiancée (now wife) Lindsey helped him file the necessary paperwork in their home state of Texas to establish BFT as a 501c3 charity and thus began their new mission.
“I wanted to make getting a care package an exciting moment for each service member,” says Jimmy. “Every care package we send is customized to each recipient, and what makes us unique is that they all contain a pair of boots.”
That customization and included footwear is what sets BFT apart from every other company that sends care packages – and it’s also what makes their packages the favorite of troops worldwide.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road. Anytime you have to ask for donations from Americans hard earned money it can be challenging. I don’t want to call it a struggle, but more of a challenge was to get the local community to believe in our mission and take a chance on supporting us. A lot of major corporations turned us away in the beginning. We had to create a story behind the organization and show the work we were doing. Once we did that, gaining the support of businesses and individuals became much easier. I still remember cold calling, Nowadays, we have so many business and patrons calling us and wanting to get involved.
Another struggle was trying to keep up with the demand of the program with very little manpower. The program grew like wildfire in the military community. We went from getting 3-5 package request a week to getting 100-150 request a week. Seemed like everyone wanted a Boots For Troops to care package because it really is the worlds best care package.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Boots For Troops story. Tell us more about the business.
Boots For Troops is a non-profit organization that supports the moral and mental well-being of U.S. deployed troops. We do this primarily through our custom care package program.
It starts with a simple form on their website that can be filled out by the service member or a third party. After the form is received, BFT reaches out to the service member with a more detailed questionnaire to find out additional details – what their needs are, where they’re stationed, and some personal background information. This is where the service member provides a link to the boots they want. Each Boots For Troops custom care package not only comes with all the requested items by the service member but also a brand new pair of boots, which really sets us apart from other care package programs. locating all of the items for a care package can be quite time-consuming, particularly for unusual requests. We keep some of the most commonly requested items on hand, such as beef jerky and mixed nuts, but everything else is purchased just to fill a specific order. Whether it’s a jersey from a favorite sports team, a watch, or cookies from their hometown bakery, we work hard to locate these special items for every shipment.
Boots For Troops secondary program assist active duty service members with travel home to their hometowns for the holidays. BFT pays for round-trip flights.
Personally, as the CEO and Founder each day I work on many things. Event planning, accounting, board management, sponsorship sales and relationships, staff management, strategic planning and more. I stay very busy.
What I am most proud of is our growth. We went from an idea and a GoFundMe page to a fully functioning non-profit organization with tremendous support and growth. We are currently in our third year of operations and I believe we will have more than half a million dollars in support.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck. I believe if you work hard, and have a passion for what you are doing you will succeed. Some things are uncontrollable, but in the big picture overall you can control what happens based on your passion, energy, and desire to succeed.
- Support Squad $10 or more monthly donation
- Sponsor a Care Package $250
- Yearly Sponsor ($1,000-$10,000)
- Address: 32931 Wright Rd. Magnolia, TX 77355
- Website: www.boots4troops.org
- Phone: 281-789-7567
- Email: Jimmy@boots4troops.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boots4troops/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bootsfortroopsusa/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/boots4troops