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"Celebration of Service" - Helping out Veterans

Loading supplies for veteran's homes!
It started early, involved 1,170 volunteer hours at four veterans’ homes by the end of the day according to Doug Bellah, Home Depot Store Manager, Kentwood, MI! All volunteers, helping veterans get ready for Michigan’s winter, improving their homes, lifestyle needs and more. Their shirts were orange and said, Celebration of Service and included a budget of $8,000 for the four homes’ improvements and had workers from eight Home Depot Stores from Western Michigan – Ludington, Muskegon, Grand Rapids, Alpine …

Dan and I traveled to one site to talk with Mark, a 3 ID Army veteran from 1993-1996. With a family of six, they were identified by the West Michigan Veteran’s Assistance Program as a veteran family who could use some help. Mark was affable, disabled and so appreciative of the volunteers running around his house. Outside, inside there were 50 or more and they were putting on new doors, building new decks, new door knobs, two bathrooms had new toilets and flooring, the kitchen had new flooring and cabinet hardware. Worn electrical outlets were replaced, landscaping added and flowers to show the pride of all involved! Top it off with repairing swing sets in the park across the street!

MilAve_Col_K speaking with Volunteers and W Michigan Veteran's Assistance Program leadership
Landscaping!

We spoke to some of the leaders of the West Michigan Veteran’s Assistance Program – Kay, Lloyd, Judy and others were there too. Jerry, a Veteran Affairs social worker from Grand Rapids provides health care for veterans with an office of 5 as an outreach of the Battle Creek VA Medical Center. Resources available include a teaching kitchen, clothing locker, food pantry through Goodwill. Jerry praised the Veteran’s Assistance Program for donating every dollar it earns back to veteran causes and needs like today’s efforts. Quite a program with zero overhead!

Celebration of Service
Celebrity of Service is happening across the country! Last week we were in Motown with a different group but all supporting our veterans. It is now less than one month to Veterans Day but I feel the appreciation building to a crescendo! What can you do for a veteran? Many sacrificed, were injured, some are service disabled, others like Mark are non service disabled but need help. More likely, they are healthy, vital members of our communities but would still appreciate a thank you from you! What can you do? How can you say thank you? So glad you asked! Because we have built 101 Ways to Thank a Veteran as a starting point for citizens, friends, family, businesses and community groups. Take an idea and build on it! Tell our students on Veterans Day what service is about and why they should serve in some manner. Local, regional, national or international – we are better for serving.
Everyone got into orange!

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