Veterans’ Outreach Will be Able to Reach More Veterans in Need!

This is a breakout year for Veterans’ Outreach.  We are very proud of the support that we have provided for 29 years, helping veterans tens of thousands of times.  Most of the staff and volunteers have been part of our team for many years, we call ourselves the Veterans’ Outreach family and you are welcome to join us.  One volunteer in his 70’s even calls me “Dad” and he’s older than me!

We start the morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer. So, what they say is true – a family that prays together stays together.  We have had many eye-opening experiences from the vets that we have served. Those magical moments, when God worked through us, and seeing the joys come alive in those vet client’s faces are unforgettable. When they seek us out or any of the referring agencies, they know that we’ll do our best to get that veteran the help that they need and leave with pride and integrity in tack.

This year I turn 69…Most folks have already retired and enjoying the good life retirement has to offer.  Nooo, the good LORD just made my plate much fuller!

The Veterans’ Outreach Complex was born just before Christmas of 2022. That is when two local realtors came by our office, after they saw the Interview by my wife, Teri, about our charity. Unbeknownst to her she was presented an award for “Hometown Hero”!  She was shocked by the award, and she announced that she did not deserve it. The interview promoted that we were looking for a bigger building for several years now.  We ran out of space for accepting physical donations.

Well, the realtors said that our new building lay across the street and the auction was tomorrow. Talking about short notice! We attended the auction, and the new chapter begins! Increasing the size of our office space and parking lot to over 700%! We are hoping that the Grand Opening will be in the springtime of 2023.

We are targeting other organizations that are veteran friendly, to join us so we can have a full-blown veteran service center. We have three buildings, two of those have office spaces for lease. We have a total of sixteen office spaces there. There are six office spaces available for those that are interested.

So, now comes the tooling and configuring on this new project of assembling and welcoming our new partners. We need sponsors, developers, volunteers, organizations, foundations, clubs, and just about anyone that wants to help make a positive difference in our veterans’ lives.

I am looking for anyone that is interested. I am thinking that everyone should be!  866.212.5592 or email me at [email protected]

BTW…Our first Event in 2023 is called “tine’ time

On February 11, 2023 at the fabulous Lake Club located at 1140 Paulin Rd, Youngstown, OH.

You can call for tickets at

330-755-5792 x5 or 330-715-5474 or visit

Help us help our men and women that served us!

John Ely

A Conversation that Changed a Life

Recently, a veteran came to our office for a box of food from our Freedom Food Pantry and to have some much-needed social time with other veterans. In the course of conversation, he mentioned he was looking for work. He went on to say that he had previously done some commercial cleaning that he liked very much. We recently had a request for help from a local cleaning company that needed some employees. We put them in touch with each other, and the veteran now has the part-time job he was hoping for. You never know what will happen in the course of a seemingly normal conversation. We are so happy for him!

Thank you TCC Gives

Thanks to TCC Gives for the grant to purchase hams for veterans during this Christmas season.  This was a great year to be able to help in this way since the cost of food has really hit people on fixed incomes.  A veteran called before Christmas to ask if Veterans’ Outreach was doing anything special for Christmas and our Executive Director told him we were giving away hams.  His words were, “Oh my God, I was just rolling my pennies hoping to have enough to purchase a ham for Christmas!”  She told him to come to the office, we had one waiting for him.  He was really touched and relieved.

There are a lot of similar cases, there are so many veterans struggling right now. We are so grateful!

Thank you CPL Mobley.

Thank you CPL Mobley

Our branch office in Grayson, KY received a donation in honor of Glen Mobley. However, Glen Mobley was not your average individual. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict as were his brothers, Raymond and Dwayne. He served our great nation as a corporal in the United States Army and was an MP. Every year, he would recount his memory of Christmas in 1952. He was on a Troop Ship in the English Channel with very rough seas. A Christmas to never forget and always remember. He was employed at Monarch Rubber Company in Alliance, Ohio where he worked for 20+ years. He returned to Kentucky in 1992 and was an active member of the DAV in Grayson, KY. In 2018, he moved back to Alliance, OH to be with his family. He led his life as a Devout Christian and a family man. He passed away at 91 years of age on November 19th, 2022. He is sorely missed and we are grateful for the donation in his honor. Thank you CPL Mobley for your service and dedication to this country.!/TributeWall

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.