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.