Full of Thankfulness

Recently, we received a grant from Verizon that enabled us to purchase many hams for veterans. This is an important tradition for us as each year we try to ensure that the veterans we serve have a proper Thanksgiving and a proper Christmas meal. This year Verizon answered the call and provided the funding needed to ensure that our community of local veterans had a wonderful Christmas dinner last night, without having to worry about how to pay for it or go without completely. Thank you, Verizon for giving us the capability to make this a reality this year!

Season's Blessings.

Season’s Blessings

Our branch office in Grayson, KY has been so busy and so blessed! We rely heavily on our volunteers and our communities to keep our life-changing work going. Volunteers are worth their weight in gold! If you have free time, come by one of our offices and help out! There are always things to be done! Recently, Save A Lot in Grayson, KY donated 230 food bags for our Freedom Food Pantry. This is huge for the veteran community. This means they will keep food on their tables and in their bellies this holiday season. The gentleman in the photos is one of our favorite volunteers. He is a veteran and he is always around the office, helping with anything that needs to be done. We are so grateful for him! Thank you Bob and thank you Save A Lot!

Season's Blessings.     

Acts of Kindness

Recently at our branch office in Grayson, KY, our wonderful team really made a difference to women and families in need. They were chatting with an employee from a homeless shelter for battered families and discovered that there are some families staying there with multiple children that are in desperate need. The employee continued that they genuinely need donations of everything. So, without hesitation, they loaded both of their vehicles up and delivered totes full of clothes, household items, and toys. We don’t have photos of the experience to protect the identities of the individuals staying there. But, in accordance with how wonderful the Grayson team is, one woman there at the shelter kept commenting on our regional manager’s necklace and how much she loved it. So, before she left, she gave that sweet woman her necklace. She burst into tears of joy and exchanged multiple hugs of gratefulness. “It was such a joy to help someone through the bad times and through the holidays.”

God Blessed Veterans’ Outreach This Christmas

Teri Ely, our Executive Director, was being interviewed for a Veterans’ Day Story on how the charity was helping veterans in need. The activity is bustling like crazy! There is goodwill just dripping from the ceiling.

Anybody that visits is taken back on how everyone, all, have a super amped feeling while they are there, and they leave with that after-glow of humble satisfaction through serving veterans.

The interns, volunteers, staff, visitors, contributors, and veterans-in-need are confident that hope and Godly things are happening at this charity and through its’ mission.

As the reporter was packing up, he reached into his brief case and pulled out a plaque that says, “WYTV Proudly recognizes Teri Ely and Veterans’ Outreach as a Hometown Hero”.  Well, this caught her completely unprepared and she had to hesitate and figure out what was happening.

Being stymied…she said shyly that she doesn’t deserve this honor. The reporter told her to look around…you are responsible for all of this!  She responded by stating that all good things come from God and then thanked him for the honor of being named a “Hometown Hero”.

One of her pleas during that interview was that we were looking for a bigger building.  The reporter took that small excerpt and played it on the TV stations night and day before her main interview aired.

That following Monday, a couple of realtors showed up at her office and indicated that the properties around the corner were being auctioned off tomorrow!

They asked us to join them for the event! We would have never believed that we would have the opportunity of getting something of that magnitude.

It was Arby’s National Headquarters at one time. It includes three buildings on 2.6 acres and a huge parking lot. It will increase our office space by almost 700%. A big jump indeed! Our bid went through and low and behold, we are the new owners of The Veterans’ Outreach Complex!

We at the charity are so thankful for God’s Presence through our MISSION. This gift to our veterans couldn’t be timelier than at Christmas of 2022!  We say this with pride and hope, “Merry Christmas to all our veterans!  “We are here for you, always!”

We are thrilled to share this news with you.  Your support means everything, it means the mission moves forward and stands ready to meet the needs of our nation’s heroes, United States Veterans.

The reality is that we are moving into a space that is seven times larger than our current space.  The buildings are brick and in very good condition, but renovations will need to be done to make the space functional for our needs.  We need to raise a few walls, purchase commercial refrigeration units, purchase clothing display racks, and update flooring.

We are a non-profit, we raise all funds ourselves through donations, grants, and special events.  We undergo a voluntary audit each year with Hill, Barth, and King.  We have achieved a Platinum Seal of Transparency with GuideStar.  Charity Navigator has given us a score of 100 out of 100.

We ask that you consider donating to help Veterans’ Outreach with the building improvements that will help more veterans.  Any amount is appreciated.

Our Board, Staff, and Volunteers wish you a wonderful holiday season.

May God Bless You!

-John Ely

Dad Survived the Pearl Harbor Attack and Tended to Many Victims

William Gordon Ely was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, where he worked on the family farm when he was just 8 years old. Dad later faced the Depression with his family and joined the service at 17 when he lied about his age.

He was finally stationed at Pearl Harbor after touring the South Pacific and wrote to his mom that he found paradise, bragging about catching a 40-pound octopus and having a barbecue on the beach with the guys. Just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, “Bill” was on the porch of the barracks because of an upset stomach from cucumber salad the night before, which saved his life.

The airfields were the first attacked and more than 2,335 men were lost there. Dad was a paramedic, so he was racing off in his ambulance truck just trying to get away from the Japanese aircraft, or Zeros, which were strafing him on both sides of his vehicle. The attack lasted a total of 90 minutes and left 2,400 dead and 1,100 wounded.

My dad tended to as many wounded as he could, while he was wounded as well. He even dove in the blazing water rescuing many other of those attacked men at the Harbor.. After the attack, he spent days administering blood and glucose constantly, especially, to one seriously burned victim.

The hospital was overloaded, so Dad would change his bandages, and even slept with that man to keep him warm, so he wouldn’t go into shock. That man’s mom wrote a letter to my dad thanking him for saving her son’s life.

The letter was shown to the Red Cross and the charity started a blood drive, using the importance of that story. My dad went on to be a founder of the “Pearl Harbor Survivors” Columbus chapter, and co-founder of eight other chapters. He was best friends with the man that started a Military Museum., Mott’s Military Museum.

He left in his will a major donation to the Mott’s Military Museum of Columbus, to help with the expansion of the new wing, where his Pearl Harbor coat and memorabilia are on display. He had a photographic memory, which was tortuous to him. Every time, though, he had a chance to talk about that historic day, he wouldn’t hesitate. He was A CONSTANT reminder of that horrific day when the world came to a halt. He is forever thankful that Warren Mott and his Museum would be there to tell the story, always!

“Lest we forget,” Dad, you are part of history!

Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Son…John Ely

“Heart” of a Lion

“Heart” of a Lion

A wonderful gentleman that’s a veteran out of Georgia called our branch office in Grayson, KY, and desperately needed help. His truck broke down in Ashland, KY on his way to Colorado to get a transfusion. Amazingly, only 24% of his heart works. Even more amazing than that is that he died for 26 minutes and 17 seconds on June 26th, 2017 leaving him with a Traumatic Brain Injury. He spent all his money fixing his truck to get him to his life-saving treatment and had nothing left to finish getting him to the Hospital in Colorado. He said no matter what life throws at him he will survive and get through it. We got him a $200.00 visa to help him with his journey to a better heart. He is 72 years old. How incredibly brave of him to make this trip alone and in the condition he is in. He was so grateful for what we did for him and amazed by all the great things we do for Veterans.