Anderson University is fusing education and kindness together by intertwining the two in their students’ studies. Ron Aderhold, a U.S. Army veteran earning a Bachelor of Business Administration, Health Care management class of 2017, is working on his Masters also at Anderson University.
Over the summer, Aderhold participated in an internship with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans as a requirement for his degree. It was there when he realized that he realized how much of a social issue homelessness is and how simple it was to lend a hand to those in need. He was based in Washington DC and he noticed that the issue was particularly prevalent, as he became aware that the homeless men, women, and children lacked proper bedding. Once he noticed the issue, Aderhold took it on himself to work with similar organizations to bring in proper necessities for those in need. Operation Bedroll was on its way to become an option for those in need, thanks to other organizations and Aderhold’s drive and passion for the project.
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars became one of the first organizations to help as it had a surplus of comfortable bedding as those who used their service often left it there for the center to do with what it will. As the project got underway, on each floor at the center, you can find a place to deposit a donation of clean and comfortable bedding for those struggling to find the essentials. "When you're living in a room with six other people, having something new and all your own makes you feel like a human being," Aderhold said. “And in less than a year, Operation Bedroll has given gently-used bedding and cleaning supplies to about 600 veterans in the D.C. area.” Kathryn Monet, chief executive officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, commented that Ron Aderhold was "hands down the most motivated and engaging intern we have ever hosted," Monet said in a letter of recommendation for him. "He just took the initiative and ran with it," Monet said. "He put together this entire initiative, set up a drop-off center..." The operation is already looking to expand to other cities as soon as it is feasible.
Aderhold looks at this operation as giving back. He was a United States Army Sergeant from 1988-1992. He was able to receive benefits but for decades chose to not to utilize them, citing pride as the main reason for his choice. Ultimately, he realizes helping the homeless is the right thing to do.