Fundraising through Food

We were contacted several weeks ago by NEOCC. They have a sanctioned veterans group of inmates that wants to help veterans. These veterans have made some poor choices in life and are now paying their debt. We applaud NEOCC for permitting these men to give something to the community. It is a win win situation for all concerned.
With help from the staff, fundraisers are planned. The inmates sold food from local venues to other inmates. Just the other day, Veterans’ Outreach volunteers helped to pick up the prepared foods which included 1,650 chicken tenders, 501 subs, 675 cans of chips, and 191 cakes. We used our Mack truck which was donated to us from a local furniture store. The truck was perfect for the job, and a veteran volunteered to do the driving.
In a few weeks, Veterans’ Outreach office staff and volunteers will be attending a luncheon at NEOCC to accept the proceeds from the event and thank the men that put this event together.
We are grateful, so grateful for the support and that we are able to be a conduit for these inmates to do some good for veterans in need.

To be continued . . .

“Veteran’s Future Bright with a New Beginning, a Clean Start”

A middle-aged veteran was new in town and went to our local VA. He was referred to Veterans’ Outreach for help. He had basically been thrown out of his home in another state and came to Youngstown where he knew someone he could stay with temporarily. We helped him with food, gas, clothing, and referrals to other places that could help him too.

He was really pleased with all we had done for him and came back again. He happened to meet up with me in the office. I don’t normally have the opportunity to meet the veterans that come here for help as I am not the Services Director. I had just gotten through with a call from a local businessman (veteran) that was looking to hire a veteran immediately for his industrial cleaning business. I was so pleased to have a part in getting these two veterans together.

I bumped into the veteran today, and he told me that he is doing better than he has in years. He is the #1 employee with the industrial cleaning business, the owner told him that he is “the best thing that has happened to his business”. He has a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step.

From Heated Hostility to Cool Peace and Quiet

Today’s “Case of the Week” comes from our corporate office in Liberty Township, north of Youngstown, Ohio as told by Teri Ely, Veterans’ Outreach Executive Director.

This veterans’ story has been evolving for several years. He first came to us when he was diagnosed with cancer. He needed help with rent, transportation for medical appointments, and other personal expenses. His treatments went on for quite a while, and he ended up in a nursing home. We saw him many times throughout his journey.

He got well enough to leave the nursing home and was living on the first floor of a house of 2 apartments. A robbery/shooting occurred nearby, and it turned out the perpetrator ran and hid in the second-floor apartment of the same house. The police got a search warrant and proceeded to search the entire house, including this veterans’ apartment. The place was turned upside down and inside out as the police searched for the gun and drugs.

Nothing was found in this veterans apartment, but he couldn’t continue to live there. He got help from our VA Clinic up the street with referrals for veteran-friendly landlords. It all fell into place, except he needed a refrigerator and we were able to help him get it.

Earlier today he walked past my window on his walker after getting off the bus, waved and told me he really needed to tell me something. I visited with him, and he was so peaceful and relaxed, couldn’t stop smiling. He LOVES his new apartment, everything is quiet, safe, and the refrigerator works great!

Veteran Dresses for Success

This veteran first came to our office several years ago. He was behind on a utility and seeking employment. We were able to help with the utility and referred him to a local employer that was looking for help with security. He did get a job and has been working part-time. Occasionally, he gets laid off during slow periods. He has come back a few times for help, and he always enjoys browsing through the donated clothing in our “Heroes’ Closet”.
The security jobs he gets often require him to wear clothing that he does not have and can not afford; like sports jackets, ties, dress shirts, and slacks, and even dress shoes. Through generous donors that bring in unwanted clothing, this veteran has been able to dress for work with success and pride.
Recently, he was browsing through the clothing and comically bantering with another veteran about Veterans’ Outreach. He looked at his friend and with a very serious tone said that he would take a bullet for Veterans’ Outreach.