GEAR UP FOR VETS
The University of Arizona and Operation Hat Trick first teamed up in 2018 to help support wounded service members and veterans. We couldn’t predict the impact we’d have.
There are heroes among us.
We have their backs.
Arizona Operation Hat Trick merchandise proceeds benefit veterans and their families through the Arizona Fisher House and student veterans through the University of Arizona VETS Center.
University of Arizona Trademarks & Licensing, Athletics and the BookStores, our primary retailer of OHT merchandise, work to make Arizona OHT merchandise available to the community.
Since November 2018, we've raised over $85,000 for the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Fisher House, our designated OHT partner, that provides a free home for families of military veterans who are in the hospital.
Our military history dates back to 1896. Today, ROTC at Arizona continues to set the standard within the region, and two VETS Centers support students transitioning from military to employed graduates.
“The support of the community, it rolls down to us, the families of the service men and women.”
Laurena Rose, 2020 Arizona Fisher House Guest
About the Arizona Fisher House
In 2021, the Arizona Fisher House celebrated its fifth anniversary. It is located right across from the Southern Arizona VA Hospital and looks and feels like home, a credit to Kelly Laurich, who has managed nearly every detail that has gone into the house since its groundbreaking.
Those who need to travel more than 50 miles for their loved one’s hospital stay are eligible to stay at the Fisher House. To date, guests have come from more than nine different countries. Thanks to community support and programs like Operation Hat Trick, cost savings for guests between travel, meals and accommodations are $157,608 in 2021 alone.
On average, Fisher House guests will have 18 meals each during their average 6-night stay. There are always snacks and staples in the kitchen, as well as fresh produce for cooking, and the coffee and cereal bar are in the dining room. Volunteers will also come by to make some home-cooked meals.
Landscaping is always kept up, surrounding the building with sustainable greenery. Guests are asked to do light housekeeping, which gives them a sense of ownership, just like they are at home. There is also a comfort knowing that their loved ones are only a short walk away at the VA hospital.
Volunteers might come by to bake cookies or to decorate the canvas tote bags each Fisher House guest receives, giving them even more of a personal touch. Knitted blankets and quilts are included, as well as pajamas, slippers and other items guests might forget to pack. There is even a flip-flop tree!
Operation Hat Trick
Operation Hat Trick is dedicated to honoring, supporting and rebuilding the lives of American service members and veterans. It raises money by selling OHT merchandise through key partnerships across the country.