Helping Heroes Kids’ specific purpose is to benefit families who have lost parents or who have members that have been seriously wounded in either combat or service to this country, including firemen and police.
We help provide an opportunity to enjoy a better quality of life by sending a child to camp or help provide funding for college.
What We Do
Our specific purpose is to benefit families who have lost parents or who have member that have been seriously wounded in either combat or service to this country, including firemen and police. With your help, we can send a child to camp or help provide funding for a student to attend college.
To date, four camp experiences have been provided for kids. These kids have hiked across Isle Royal, scuba dived in lake Superior (also obtaining his open water while at camp), and another sailed on Lake Huron in a sloop.
This year, we also hope to raise enough money to send a kid to college.
Thank you for your help in providing positive life experiences for kids of our nation’s heroes!
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of “up to an including my life”. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
Meet the HHK Team
Jessi Flath, Branch Officer
Jessi is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University and currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she co-owns and operates Kal Haven Storage with her husband, Josh, and dog, Ruby. She is in the process of earning her MA in Counseling at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, which she hopes to use towards providing help and support for military members and their families. “I am blessed to be apart of HHK, where I can make a difference in the families of the men and women who have given everything, yet have expected nothing in return.”
Doug Gillespie, CEO
Doug Gillespie is a prior service active Army E-7 and now full time Dad and Building and Grounds Director of the state YMCA of Michigan and truly believes how summer camp can change lives. Doug has also seen first-hand how hard the emotional challenges one goes through with the loss of a limb, both physically and emotionally.
Josh Flath, Branch Officer
Josh Flath is a prior service active Navy E-5, who turned to surfing and standup paddle. He truly believes that having something you love to do can change your life completely! “Man can live 40 days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air, but only a few moments without hope. We can’t let our heroes lose hope.” That is why him and his wife are heading up the 4THE22 section of HHK to raise awareness and help prevent veteran suicide. He now co-owns and operates a storage facility in southwest Michigan with his wife. He feels so honored to be a part of HHK, where he can help his brothers and sisters, those who have sacrificed so freely for this great county.
Aaron Abla, VP
Aaron is a graduate of Western Michigan University, he was in the Army Reserves and attended Cooley Law School. He is married, has two children and lives in the Kalamazoo, MI area. He is Vice President of A & A Custom Service and recently started his own design and fabrication company; Strive. "The opportunity to work with Helping Heroes Kids is an honor. Being able to give back to those who have selflessly sacrificed so much for the rest of us is a true blessing." One of Aaron's main tasks at HHK is to find kids to send to summer camp, so please get in touch if you have a referral for us.
Jeanette Kuzma Gillespie, Secretary
Jeanette is a graduate from Grand Valley State University and runs her own company, Jam Graphic Design, based out of the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. She has two sons and is happiest when outdoors. Jeanette has completed a Tough Mudder, several Warrior Dashes, numerous 5ks, triathlons, and even a few 25k runs. “I come from a family of men who have served our nation. By helping families through HHK, this is my opportunity to say thank you to those who have served.” If you are part of a company that desires to help families who have a member that have been wounded in combat, please take a moment to introduce them to HHK. We’d love to partner with them in helping the families of our nation’s heroes.