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About The Resource Exchange Association

About REA (Resource Exchange Association)

Resource Exchange Association (REA) is a veteran managed 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that began in 1984. In 1994 Mr. C.R. “Bud” Shepherd, a veteran/POW of WWII, began operating a small warehouse in Burlington, NC to help other 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations (schools, churches, daycares, etc.) help the ill, needy and infants in the community. Armed with the slogan, “People Helping People, Help People”, Mr. Shepherd was determined to help fill the gap between the non-profit and business sector.  In addition to the poor and needy, in 2012 Mr. Shepherd decided to focus his attention on the condition of the wounded veterans returning home from war. It was at this time that the REAch Wounded Veteran Program was created.

“REAch” is a national program created by Mr. Shepherd to provide free fully loaded toolboxes to wounded veterans who incurred service – connected wounds, injuries, or illnesses on or after September 11, 2001. The primary goal of this gifts-in- kind corporate donation program is to aid and assist Wounded Veterans.  The cost to operate this program is enormous. For every U.S. soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In operation Iraqi Freedom and operation Enduring Freedom, for every U.S. soldier killed, 7 are wounded. Combined over 48,000 plus service men and women have been physically injured in the recent military conflicts. In addition to physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 plus service members live with invisible wounds of war including: combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

How Can I Help?

On November 30, 1944, while serving his country in WWII, “Bud” was a 19 year old tail gunner in the 751 st Squadron, 457 th Bomb Group, United States Army Air Force. His plane was shot down over Germany. The crew was captured and imprisoned by the Germans at Stalag Luft 1, Barth, Germany until the end of the war.  Accordingly, it has always been “Bud’s” desire to REAch out and help veterans, especially Wounded Veterans and their families.

REA needs more help! Specifically, we need corporations to donate excess, surplus and store-return products to the REAch Wounded Veterans Program. All product donated to REA is tax deductible; it is exchanged “free” within our REAch Exchange Center (REC). A nominal “handling fee” is charged to the non-profit organizations and members to help off-set shipping and purchasing cost for tools that are not donated, yet needed for the proper packing of a fully loaded toolbox.

For more information, to donate product if you are a corporation, please contact the REA Office Warehouse Distribution Center at:
930 Oakley Street
Graham, NC 27253
(336) 227-0000

If you are a non-profit organization seeking a membership, please call or visit the distribution center for a tour and to sign up for the DOREA CARD program.