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 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 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 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, 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.