Volunteers of America – Redux “There Are No Limits to Caring!”

Preparing for the program at the Stand Down for Homeless VeteransVolunteers of America (VoA) Michigan showed me how people cared about our homeless veterans last week! I wrote about The Home Depot Foundation and how many others jumped in to make the veterans’ lives easier with the VoA Stand Down which provided resources and information to the veterans in Lansing, MI. VoA has a long arm with organizations in 400 communities in the US while helping over 2 million folks in need!

So I decided to draw a picture of the event with my camera to show their efforts! Words can be helpful but pictures make it real!  These are real people, veterans who are in need and the VoA is helping with transition housing, community resources, employment, food, medical information and much more!

To better understand their outreach I interviewed a homeless veteran who was willing to talk to me.  Stanley, served in the Army as a medic 1987 – 1990 and admitted he was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who had turned his life around! He has lived in transition housing funded by Veteran Affairs and maintained by VoA.  He said it was a “wonderful place for homeless veterans” and he had recently been elected by the residents to be their representative/president!

Community Resources were providedStanley has began volunteering in the community, bonded again with old friends, made new friends and began attending the local community college with the intent to earn a nursing degree.  He said he feels safe, at home and blessed by the VoA!   

The VoA leadership was excited about their latest ground breaking in Detroit for other homeless veterans like Stanley!  With a grant from the VA and gift, volunteers and reduced supply costs from the Home Depot Foundation the facility will open in October and house 60 veterans with transitional care.  With an average stay of 9 months the facility will support about 75 veterans a year.  Detroit has 4,000 veterans who need help!  We can do more!  If you would like to volunteer or give a gift please go the Volunteers of America Michigan website.  Alex Brodrick, their CEO/President said they have a 12% overhead rate which is superior for a non profit corporation!  Of course, they can use your skills as a volunteer.  Here are some ideas for Michigan which I am sure are national as well:

• Preparing and serving meals
• Organize a backpack drive
• Sorting donations at our thrift stores
• Distributing Scholastic books to children
• Assisting with Client Care
• Wrapping gifts for the Adopt A Family program
• Building Maintenance
• Assisting with clerical tasks
• Delivering holiday dinners on Christmas Day
• Assisting with painting, grounds upkeep and light maintenance 

Here are some additional pictures of the Stand Down as I promised!  Wonderful folks are helping our homeless veterans!  Again, a big thank you to my hosts last week and for all their volunteers who make things happen! “We are certainly blessed with a nation that is worth fighting for and that cares about those that do!” Col K

Medical Care Vehicle and National Guard members volunteering to serve homeless veterans lunchA local optometrist volunteers his time and equipment to assist homeless veterans with their eye health during the Stand Down!Michigan Works employment resource and clothes for the homeless veterans attending the Stand DownbyColonel KonTuesday, May 31, 2011Military Life:,,,,

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