Meet Wellness Wishes' "Fire Igniter"
Greg Brown is a key component of the Wellness Wishes team through his fundraising efforts and leader of our First Responder division. Not too long ago, however, Greg was part of another team dedicated to savings lives: the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Here's his story!
Almost 6 months to the day, Greg was introduced to me by another of our trusted family members, Adam Johnson, our Director of Advancement. Greg might not remember, but it was April 25, 2019. Adam called and told me he found a perfect fit for our First Responder efforts and I had to talk to him immediately! I did and it was one of the best calls that could have happened for Wellness Wishes.
When we first spoke, I didn't have any expectations of the call, or clear-cut vision of what we were looking for specifically for our First Responder Division. However, after the call, I knew we needed to find a place for Greg, and that he would be a part of the Wellness Wishes family for a long time to come.
I suspect Greg knew he wanted to be a firefighter most of his life. When he was faced with the difficult decision to medically retire early from the department or risk long-term health issues, I also suspect it was one of the most difficult decisions he ever had to make. After coming to terms with early retirement, Greg was faced with another set of difficult decisions: how to move forward from a career he loved, and how to care for his family. Sales seemed to be a good fit, and I'm glad it's the path he chose. That's how he met Adam and ultimately came to Wellness Wishes. I'm also glad that as it turns out, Greg is much more than a 'salesman'.
We started out slowly as he had a few more months on the department. I spent most of the early months teaching him about how the process works for funding for first responder departments. We strategized on leads, regions of the country, fire chiefs, sales cycle, sales teams and other things you might expect during a traditional training period. What started becoming obvious, however, even early on, was that Greg's eagerness to learn more, do more, be better, get things done quicker and more efficient wasn't his best quality. Amazingly enough, it was outmatched by his passion for our mission, his ideology and his ability to create solutions, and even construct new ideas, from obstacles that would have made most people give up and walk away.
I know Greg feels like things are taking forever. I sometimes reassure him and remind him what we're creating and the things we've accomplished. Things accomplished in the last 6 months that would have taken me years to accomplish alone. He is singlehandedly responsible for the partnership with our new national sales consultants, who are building a team Greg is leading. He no longer advises on funding just for fire and emergency response departments, he advises on funding for hospitals and healthcare organizations as well - an industry he knew very little about 6 months ago.
He is helping us create a First Responder's Ambassador program, one to mirror our Veterans Ambassador program. Through this program, ambassadors will:
Coordinate with first responder departments, as well as cities and local municipalities to develop partnerships that will contribute to fundraising efforts for first responders.
Develop and manage various funds for first responder assistance (equipment, health & safety, wellness, on-the-job necessities, etc.).
Oversee Wellness Wishes' organic first responder assistance programming, as well as foster and maintain partnerships with other non-profits and organizations that also promote first responder programs and servcies.
Deliver holistic health, fitness and wellness templates to the departments in order to maximize the overall health (mental, physical, functional, occupational, lifestyle) of personnel while minimizing cost and mitigating risk.
Some ambassadors will work as therapy pet handlers, bringing pet therapy to first responders individually suffering from PTSD and other invisible/visible disabilities, as well as the departments. Ambassadors will also work to place rescued pets with individuals and departments in need through our 'Rescued Wishes' program.
In addition to all the great work Greg is accomplishing with us, he has made it his personal mission to give back to the communities while supporting his brothers and sisters in the fire service by delivering a
new fire apparatus to every department in the nation. Finally something we're able to help Greg with, and we couldn't be more excited to assist him in making that big goal a reality!
One of the last things Greg's late father said to him was “...take responsibility for everything in your life, good and bad. It’s up to you to create success." He knew Greg was going to be a firefighter and save a lot of lives. He had no idea at the time just how many lives Greg would impact, not just as his role as firefighter, but as a champion of great causes and philanthropist. Greg will be a father himself one day (soon!), and can take pride in living up to his father's wisdom. He has not only created his own success, but is ensuring it for future generations to come. He truly ignites a fire in the hearts of all those around him.
Join me, Greg and all of us in the Wellness Wishes family and help us fund initiatives that rebuild a healthier future for the greater good! Contributions to our general catalyst fund puts money towards our first responder programs and getting our First Responder Ambassador program up and running. Contributions to our Rescued Wishes program rescues animals and places these animals with veterans and first responders that vow to give them unconditional love in a forever home. You can become a founding member of our First Responder Club and make an even bigger impact.
YOU have the power to instantly make all of this happen!
We’ve created our campaigns for everyone to contribute at various levels; every donation amount makes a difference! Please be sure to review the ways you can make an impact or become a founding club member, and please share this page with your family and friends because the more you share, the more wishes we’re able to grant. Your involvement is critical to our success and to the lives of so many first responders each and every day!
Thank you Greg...and thank you to all of the Wellness Wishes family, our friends and supporters, for helping us grant a wish! Erin