SPRINGFIELD, IL – Rags of Honor, the Chicago-based non-profit company committed to employing improving the lives of homeless veterans, was honored as the Illinois Veteran Business Partner of the Year today as part of the Veterans Day events at the Illinois State Fair, with Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois Department of Veteransâ€™ Affairs Director Erica L. Jeffries presenting the award.
â€œRags of Honor is a great effort to help the most vulnerable of our Illinois Veterans,â€ said Governor Rauner. â€œCEO and Founder Mark Doyle and his entire team have created a thriving business solution with the mission of providing employment and services to homeless veterans.Â As a team they have done an amazing job and there should be others emulating this organization, state-wide.â€
Rags of Honor has nine full time veterans, seven of whom were homeless when hired. Of those five had served in Afghanistan before becoming homeless.Â There have been countless stories about homelessness among the veteran population, and most of them have the predictable ending. Rags of Honor is leading the way as an exception to this narrative, and are helping veterans get back on their feet, dignity intact with a new outlook on life.
â€œMark Doyle and his team at Rags of Honor are making a tremendous difference in communities across the state,â€ said Erica Jeffries, Director, IDVA. â€œThey have a solid business model and they are making a very positive impact on the lives of homeless veterans.Â Thatâ€™s why we selected them for this recognition as Illinois Veteran Business Partner of the Year.â€
In two short years Rags of Honor has become a top-quality screen printing organization that has the mission of providing employment and services to homeless veterans, with proceeds going directly to employ the veterans who are producing the garments at the companyâ€™s facility. They offer veterans a living wage, continuing education and training, and help with life skills needed to continue their lifeâ€™s journey with dignity.Â They produced thousands of items for numerous organizations including the U.S. Dept. of Veteransâ€™ Affairs, the Chicago Bulls, and others.Â Rags of Honor also produced more than 2300 hoodies for five ESPN bowl games last season – The Armed Services Bowl, The Advocare 100 Bowl, The Beef O Brady Bowl, The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and The Heart of Dallas Bowl, in concert with the License Resource Group, the second largest licensing company for collegiate athletics.
Governor Bruce Rauner and IDVA Director Erica L. Jeffries presented Doyle a framed proclamation naming Rags of Honor the Illinois Veteran Business Partner of the Year, and an Illinois State flag. Â For more information about Rags of Honor, please visit www.ragsofhonor.us
TheÂ Illinois Veteran Business Partner of the Year highlights and honors Illinois business partners whose contributions and service to the veteran community and their local communities are truly above and beyond. Nominees are evaluated on the basis of their leadership, dedication, innovation, and impact in serving these communities. Recipients are those whose efforts add to the powerful narrative that veterans are great additions to our communities and are dedicated, lifelong public servants from whose efforts all of Illinois’ communities stand to benefit.