On a Mission: Dino’s Storage, Moving Veterans Forward Partner on Helping Those Who’ve ServedJan 25, 2023 12:30PM ● By Peyton Nicks
Photo by Bill Sitzmann.
Travis Berglund, operational manager for Dino’s Storage, believes a core tenet of their business is fostering a neighborhood vibe by serving the Omaha community. The self-storage business has 16 locations throughout the metro.
Nowhere is that spirit of community more evident than with the company’s support of the military; most notably, through Dino’s collaboration with Moving Veterans Forward, a Papillion-based nonprofit whose mission is to help homeless Nebraska and Iowa veterans find housing
“The core mission for us will always be to get household items, furniture, and all that into the home of someone who has served this country. That is our primary mission and always will be,” said Ron Hernandez, founder of Moving Veterans Forward.
Though both organizations have many community partners, the two have found a special and effective purpose operating together.
“When we first started out, we needed a place to store furniture. That’s how that relationship started. Even today, a lot of our stock is still stored at Dino’s. It has been such a great partnership. If they have someone who vacates a unit and they don’t want the household items anymore, we gladly clean out the unit. It’s a free donation to us, and it’s great for Dino’s because they don’t need to clean it out,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez served in the U.S. Army for 25 years, with his first deployment taking him to Panama for Operation Just Cause in 1989. Throughout the 1990s, he continued to serve in other conflict areas, including Bosnia and Kosovo. Though he was not part of the first Gulf War, he ended his military career with a deployment in Iraq.
“I love my military career. I would not take any of it back. In fact, I’d do it all over again,” he said.
Even after his Army service ended, Hernandez remained driven to help his fellow soldier.
“What led me to start Moving Veterans Forward was just that service to others. In the military, you are always taking care of the guys to the left and right of you. I still wanted a mission like that after getting out. Then, I found out there was a need for that in Omaha. It was just a ‘right place at the right time’ moment, all with God’s blessing,” Hernandez said.
Dino’s collaboration with Moving Veterans Forward was initiated by the company’s founder, Dave Paladino. Paladino died in July 2021 in a plane crash that occurred in Lamoni, Iowa.
“Dino’s has always been very pro-military, very pro-law enforcement, and that really comes from Dave. Even after he passed, and his wife Lisa (Paladino) took over the company, it remained very much a core value to support anything with the military and law enforcement,” Berglund said.
Since then, Dino’s Storage has continued to work with Moving Veterans Forward as one of their primary nonprofit partners.
“Everything from donating furniture, to [marching in] parades, to offering discounts to veterans, and even some clothing drives. All to benefit and raise awareness for veterans who might need a helping hand,” Berglund said. The company also helps with setting up for events, providing the Dino’s blowup dog as a kid attraction, and donating trinkets for fundraisers.
“We at Dino’s try to have a neighborhood feeling. We want to be known as Omaha’s storage, so when a nonprofit organization comes to us, we have open arms. We want to work with them,” Berglund said. “For veterans, for law enforcement, […] Anything we can do to help them, we are going to do.”