A new business in Fridley has a mission and it’s about more than making money.
Local army veteran Josh Helm, who served in the military for eight years and was deployed to Iraq twice, opened JDog Junk Removal and Hauling White Bear Lake to help veterans find a purpose.
“The idea of JDog is to empower veterans through employment,” said JDog Operations Officer Karyn Essen. “We endeavor to hire veterans but we also hire civilians with like-minded discipline and work ethic who want to make a difference.”
Through conversation with a “battle buddy,” Helm decided to open the first Minnesota franchise.
“He loved the idea and mission so he decided to try and figure out a way to help vets here in Minnesota,” said Essen. “When they come back it is a very different way of life and often times it is a difficult transition. To have the opportunity to gain employment with like-minded people is huge for them. It is helpful for the transition back to civilian society.”
Although he originally planned on opening the JDdog in White Bear Lake, his hometown, Helm found the perfect warehouse in Fridley.
“We just couldn’t pass it up,” said Essen. “We are really proud to be here.”
JDog is an eco-friendly business that recycles, reprocesses, and repurposes items that are often times considered “junk.”
“We call it junk removal but a lot of the time it is regular items like couches and bikes,” said Essen. “A lot of it can be reused.”
Clients often hire JDog when they are downsizing or need space cleared.
JDog also offers demolition and deconstruction services like carpet removal or tearing down sheds.
“There is really nothing that we wont at least attempt to do to help out the community,” said Essen. “It is a lot of work but it is fun and it is rewarding.”
After JDog picks up items customers wish to have removed, they return to the warehouse and hand-sort items into piles of donations, recycling and repurposing.
“We just make sure that when we go pick up items from the customers that they are not just thrown in a landfill and that they are donated or brought to a donation center if they are reusable,” said Essen. “It is kind of a full circle thing because it makes the customer feel good knowing that their items are given a second chance.”
Although, JDog officially opened on April 2 a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening was held on Sept. 20.
During the celebration, attendees were asked to bring personal care items and nonperishable food for care packages that were assembled and sent to troops overseas.
JDog Junk Removal and Hauling is located at 160 83rd Avenue in Fridley.
For more information or to schedule service, call 651-412-5364.
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