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Veterans’ Outreach giving warming items to vets next week in Youngstown

February 16th, 8:04 PM EST

Veterans’ Outreach in Youngstown will be distributing items to help keep warm next week. Read more


Today, we’d like to share a “Spotlight on Services” from our home office located in Liberty Township, north of Youngstown Ohio.


A retired local celebrity that is also a veteran recently visited our office after spending six weeks in the hospital with COVID 19. He had been very ill, lost over fifty pounds. He said he was still very weak and had been spending a lot of time at home in bed recovering. He had multiple needs, all related to the pandemic. He needed food, a gas card, and clothing since he lost so much weight.

We were able to help him with all of those needs through our Direct Aid, Freedom Food Pantry, and the Heroes Closet Program. There was also a bonus! Earlier that day, a generous supporter had donated a flat screen TV. We gave the veteran the TV for his bedroom where, thanks to COVID, he was spending a lot of time.

As he realized all that we were able to do for him, he said that he was finally feeling like something was going right for him and he had hope for the future, and promised to do all he could to recover and keep in touch.

Patriots Day

Wow…Patriot Day!!! Practically a WWIII!

It was uttered, but not proclaimed. In a lot of ways, it was, and it changed our world forever.

Here we go again…19 years later…The Pandemic, The Riots, The Political Parties…so far apart…you can’t just reach across the aisle…you might as well be across an ocean.

Those three events have us divided like never before. We are forced to face life style changes, cultural modifications, history annihilation, and we easily garner suspicious overtures with our fellow patriots. What a nightmare and it isn’t just a bad dream…It is here and it is eating away at our nation. Have you checked out our Statue of Liberty?  I bet, if you look closely, you will see a tear or two stream down her patina cheek!

When 9/11 happened…It was broadside slam that we didn’t see coming.  Like we didn’t see the ghost of destruction called COVID 19,  nor the peaceful protests that in many cases have turned to ugly riots! Fires, killings, theft, untold destruction, and further destroying more livelihoods…adding to the carnage already evident from COVID 19.

How much more we can take?

The terrorism on our soil, destruction, and death from 9/11 should have taken us down to our knees, but Patriotism rose up like a frothing Giant…to fight back the enemy…That enemy was a Ghost as well!

Longest war in history and allot of evil humans have been vanquished.  I remember when the Congress and the Senate gathered on the White House Steps, holding hands, and showing solidarity and a unified front against Terrorism! Boy did that give us chills!

We are not just a nation of immigrants…with different cultures, colors, appetites, spiritual needs…we are all Americans. We need to come together, again, and fight for that justice and liberty for all!

There are so many enemies that will constantly want to take that away from us. We open the door to opportunities, wider than ever, so everyone can have a part of the “American Dream”.  As we face new enemies of our Democracy, domestic and international, now and in the future, we must unite, be ready, and have each other’s back.  We can’t do it alone! We need you all to come together as ONE!


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Volunteer of the Year 2019

 Veterans’ Outreach is very thankful for all volunteers. Their donation of time and enthusiasm to help our veterans is unmatched.  They are the true heartbeat of our organization.  Without them we could not help thousands of veterans each year. Below you will learn a little about each of our chosen honoree volunteers and how they help Veterans’ Outreach keep on ticking.  We honor and recognize each region’s “Volunteer of the Year” as well as one “Donor of the Year”. 


Alabama Volunteer of the Year 2019

Shawn Cobb

Shawn Cobb is a mechanic that specializes in farm equipment repair.  He attends the Break Through Ministry for Christ church next to us and actually lived nearby for several years.  This church has often done great things for us that have enhanced our ability to help veterans.

Shawn takes care of our summer landscape needs by mowing and trimming.  This past April, we had a very strong storm whip through our area that took down a very large tree in our yard.  Shawn headed up the group that cut and removed the tree and all of the debris associated with the storm damage.  When they were done, you couldn’t even tell that a tree had fallen.

Shawn’s longstanding eagerness to help is comforting and appreciated more than we can say.



Florida Volunteer of the Year 2019

Al Lerman

Al Lerman has been helping out in our Sarasota FL office for a while now.  He is a WWII veteran.  He served as a “Dogface” in the European Theatre.  He received two Purple Hearts during this time.  A bomb went off on the other side of the haystack he was using as shelter and fragments came through and got him in the back.  He received the second one when he was in a structure in a German village that was bombed and shrapnel got him.

In spite of the injuries Al sustained while fighting for our country, he didn’t let that stop him from living the American dream.  He married, had children, and ran his own business marketing sportswear.  Later, he and his wife ran a summer camp for children in Maine with 400 children.

He continues to give of himself by volunteering at Veterans’ Outreach.


Kentucky Volunteer of the Year 2019

Chris Hansen

Chris Hansen is a retired postal carrier.  Chris is a cancer survivor and he gives the credit to God that he is still here to serve and he serves with a smile.  He loves to help out in any way that he can throughout our building.  He helps with keeping our offices neat and clean.  He also organizes donations for our Daily Food Pantry Program and the Heroes’ Closet Program that serve our local veterans.  He runs errands, picks up donations, just anything that comes up – he stands ready.

Chris is a selfless friend to all, there are no strangers to Chris.



Ohio Volunteer of the Year 2019

Cosetta McMillan

Cosetta McMillan, also fondly known as CoCo, entered our lives earlier this year with the idea of volunteering for a few hours for just one week during the summer.  She is an Americorps Reading Tutor, so off during the summer months.  That one week rolled into her volunteering the whole summer.

She came to us with the most willing spirit to do anything that needed done from folding brochures to scrubbing walls.  CoCo was inspirational to the rest of us through her upbeat, “get it done” kind of attitude.  She helped hundreds of veterans in her short few months here.

CoCo made a lasting impression on all of us, we are better for knowing her.



Donor of the Year 2019

North Alabama Veterans Services

Our Regional Manager, Bob Wheeler had a HUGE surprise when Jane Dow visited our office. Jane formerly headed up North Alabama Veterans in Huntsville Alabama. This organization coordinated services to assist with federal, state and local agencies to help with housing assistance for veterans.

Our Office Manager, Carol Wheeler worked with Jane on many veterans cases. Recently, this fine organization closed its doors after 10 years of service to our veterans. After they cleared their books, they had some funding left.   Jane showed up at Veterans’ Outreach of Alabama to donate a very generous check of over $20,000!  We are humbled and so grateful. The funds will be used to help more veterans in Alabama.

Thank you, Jane, for the recognition and the confidence that the funds will be well used to better the lives of our military men and women.  God Bless You.

K-D Lamp Company and SLC International Inc Donate to Veterans’ Outreach

K-D Lamp Company and SLC International Inc., both of Andover Ohio have come forward to support Veterans’ Outreach mission to Honor and Serve all Veterans.  Nicole Damratoski visited Teri Ely at Veterans’ Outreach in Liberty Township Ohio today to take a look at what we do for veterans and to drop off their first donation.

Volunteer & Donor of the Year 2018

Veterans’ Outreach is very thankful for all our volunteers. Their donation of time and undying enthusiasm to help our veterans is unmatched.  They are the true heartbeat of our organization. Without them we could not help thousands of veterans each year. Below you will learn a little about each of our chosen honoree volunteers and how they help Veterans’ Outreach keep on ticking.  We honor and recognize each region’s “Volunteer of the Year” as well as one “Donor of the Year”.

Alabama Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Lukas Johnson

Lukas Johnson is a veteran from the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, he was with the 1307th combat engineering group based in Huntsville Alabama. His duty was to locate and neutralize I E D’ s.  His unit was highly successful and thankfully all came home. He has been instrumental in advertising Veterans’ Outreach in a straight forward, the no-nonsense manner by simply letting people know who we are and what we do for veterans. At a recent place of employment, he helped in the design and sale of military, biblically oriented T-shirts. A portion of the proceeds went directly to Veterans’ Outreach, this was all his idea and the people who bought the T-shirts were all in with the donation to Veterans’ Outreach.  Although he has very little time on his new job, (12-hour swing shift) if asked to help we are sure that he would willingly give of himself.  Lukas is a true patriot and hero, and a great friend to all veterans.

Florida Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Susie Cherry

Susie Cherry, a Florida migrant from Massachusetts where she taught at the high school level and then was data administrator for a college, contacted our Sarasota, FL office to volunteer her services over a year ago.  With her computer skills and eagerness to help veterans, she administers our various databases such as the record of veterans served by date and by the county for statistical support.  Susie is very community oriented – volunteers at the local Literacy Council, teaching English to migrants, participates in Angel Pillows (a group of volunteers stuff, and sew to close, pillows  that are donated to hospices and to homeless that have found at least temporary housing and have no possessions) and other activities, and is very active in her church.  Always interested, always active, she even makes donations to our cause in assisting veterans in need.

Kentucky Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Roger Hanshaw

Roger Hanshaw is an active member of the Olive Hill Senior Community Center and Olive Hill Trail town. In his professional life, he owned a construction company for years. Roger was our Donor of the Year a couple of years ago when he decided to donate his family’s land located near the famous Mushroom Mines in Lawton, KY to Veterans’ Outreach. The land in total is about 118 acres.  We couldn’t be more grateful for the donation and for his continued support of Veterans’ Outreach. The project entitled Heroes’ Passage is intended to help veterans get back on their feet. Roger is not a veteran, but he has always seen it in his heart to help veterans. His father was a WWII veteran and his middle daughter is in the service as a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air National Guard currently. His father acquired the land in 1938, however, the house burnt down in the 60s forcing them to move away. Roger is a known volunteer in his county and has been voted volunteer of the year in his county as well. Not only did Roger donate this land, but he also donates his time. Roger is a warm and generous person and we are incredibly thankful to have him as a lifelong friend and supporter of Veterans’ Outreach.

Ohio Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Ronald Mitchell

Ron is a Navy Veteran that came to know Veterans’ Outreach through our Direct Aid Program.  Ron served with his twin brother and they were entertainers. His background made for good conversation with our Services Director, Bob Julian.  Ron confessed that he spent entirely too much time just “sitting around the house”. Bob suggested that Ron come by the office to volunteer.

Ron started helping out with Heroes’ Closet, our clothing pantry where veterans can browse through and choose clothing for free.  His occasional help has turned into a daily routine. He now helps with our all of our programs and whatever needs come up. Ron has become a big part of our Veterans’ Outreach Family.  His eager, upbeat attitude and joyful nature are contagious. He always has a friendly smile, a story, and a big laugh to offer. On top of all of that, he is a very hard worker. He tells us he is blessed to have the opportunity to get out of the house and spend time here at our Liberty office, but he is wrong – we are all blessed by knowing him.

Donor of the Year 2018 – Clubhouse Brewing Company

About a year ago, we received an email from Zach Dean, owner of the Clubhouse Brewing Company of Warren, Ohio.  “I am both a disabled veteran and a small business owner in Warren, OH. As of 22NOV2017 Clubhouse Brewing Company began operations. It is our goal to give back to the veteran community through a three-pronged approach: first we believe in donating a portion of our profits to veterans’ charities, such as yourselves, in an attempt to help veterans who cannot help themselves, Second we will hire veterans exclusively to help veterans help themselves, and finally we will be starting a veterans charity of our own which will focus on business mentoring and job training in the craft beer industry, to help veterans help each other.

After a careful review of local veterans’ nonprofits’ financial documentation, we have decided to donate to your organization for the year 2018. During the week before Christmas we raffled off merchandise to raise money for veterans’ charities, although it was not a life-changing amount of money, hopefully, it is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Since receiving that email, we have formed a great friendship with Zach and his family.  They have had a great year and have surpassed their goals. They have supported Veterans’ Outreach in many ways with donations, food drives, hygiene drives, service animal supply drives, and so on.  They advertise Veterans’ Outreach with their own business. They do more than we could ever ask! We are so proud to know them, and so humbled by their support and generosity.