A set of unusual vehicles was parked outside the Clear Creek Shopping Center at Fort Hood on Monday.
Shoppers at the PX were greeted by a fire truck, car and tour bus — all painted bright pink in a show of support for women.
The vehicles were part of the annual Pink Heals national tour, and since June have been making their way across the country.
The tour, due to end in October, is made of volunteers with the Pink Heals nonprofit, founded by Dave Graybill, a retired firefighter who wanted to bring a human element back to fundraising, instead of having the efforts focus on specific causes.
Local Pink Heals chapters across Texas and the U.S. encourage their communities to keep fundraising dollars local by supporting women, families and nonprofit organizations right where they are.
Pink Heals does not support any specific cause or disease, rather seeks to aid women and families with a variety of needs.
One of the drivers and volunteers on the national tour, Vickki Maddux, said the purpose of Pink Heals is about a mission, not about an organization.
“We’re all love based,” she said.
Pink Heals volunteers sell T-shirts and merchandise to fund the tour, but all members of the organization are strictly volunteers.
“We don’t take donations. It’s for the women and the family. It’s not about a specific cause. We come in and try to get your community to start a chapter eventually, to start fundraising locally,” Maddux said.
Pink Heals currently does not have a Killeen area chapter, something local resident Wayne Griffey wants to change.
Griffey and his wife helped organize this year’s stop at Fort Hood, with hopes of establishing a local chapter in the future.
“I was a soldier for 10 years and that’s what I wanted to do, not just serve the country, but help people. I got out and I still want to help people. This is an awesome opportunity to do that locally,’ he said.
Many of the volunteers on the tour are first responders who give about two weeks each to travel with the tour and raise awareness.
“It takes all of us, and the more the better. When you have your first responders coming together, fundraising and taking care of the community, it makes the community come together,” said Maddux, a volunteer first responder herself.
After leaving Fort Hood on Monday afternoon, the pink vehicles headed to Travis County to continue the tour.