It may seem to be a little trite, but Kevin Mahoney believes in giving back to society — especially to those U.S. military veterans who may need some help when they rejoin the civilian world.
That’s why Mr. Mahoney, who owns FindTape.com, is donating 10 percent of his company’s sales between May 22 and 28 — the week surrounding Memorial Day — to Operation Homefront. The nonprofit group provides emergency and other assistance to the families of military service members and wounded warriors.
FindTape.com is an online purveyor of specialty tape, most of whose customers are businesses, Mr. Mahoney said. The company sells the type of tape that cannot be found in stores — anything from colored duct tape (red, green, white and blue, for example) in custom widths to double-sided tape that is used by people whose hobby is to make scrapbooks.
"We are a niche online (seller) of tape. We sell pressure-sensitive adhesive tape. There are thousands of variations, in all colors and widths," said Mr. Mahoney, who lives in the Skillman section of Montgomery Township.
"We sell a lot of gaffer’s tape. You can’t find it in the stores. It is a double-sided tape that does not leave a residue (when it is removed). You can use it to lay down an electrical cable on a carpet. You can buy a single roll or you can buy a couple of cases (of any of the specialized tapes)," he said.
The decision to donate a portion of the company’s sales to Operation Homefront grew out of his interest in the military. Like many young men, Mr. Mahoney and his high school friend, Robert Valley, wanted to sign up for military service.
Mr. Mahoney was on track for a Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) college scholarship, but his plans fell through. Mr. Valley, however, served three years in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper. While their post-high school paths initially diverged, the two Hillsborough High School graduates reconnected.
Mr. Mahoney worked in New York City, developing websites. Mr. Valley entered the tape-converter business. Mr. Mahoney offered to create a website for his friend’s business, which is a wholesale tape provider. Intrigued, he left his job and started up FindTape.com.
While Mr. Mahoney’s business has been successful, he also believes in donating to charity.
Mr. Mahoney said he heard stories about the difficulties that some veterans experience in their transition to civilian life. Some have suffered psychological wounds and others have suffered physical injuries. Many veterans experience financial issues.
He researched charities, and discovered Operation Homefront. The nonprofit group’s programs range from food assistance to helping with certain car and home repair expenses. It helps military families buy a house, and there is even a program that distributes a backpack full of back-to-school supplies to their children.
"Operation Homefront does great work," Mr. Mahoney said, and that’s why he decided to combine his interest in the military and his desire to do good by contributing to this charity. He said it just seemed logical to tie it to Memorial Day, which honors the soldiers, sailors and airmen.
Both of Mr. Mahoney’s grandfathers served in the U.S. Army during World War II. His childhood friend, Mr. Valley, was part of Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War in Iraq while he served in the U.S. Army. Mr. Mahoney added that he was working in New York City on Sept. 11.
"I am very appreciative of the people who go into the military," he said, adding that donating to charities that help them is important to him. He wants his children to see that, too. It’s a good feeling to donate to Operation Homefront, he said.
"I am just waiting to write that check," Mr. Mahoney said.