Thank you for supporting veterans in need
The National Association for Black Veterans (NABVets) Southern Maryland Chapter 96 would like to thank all organizations and community who donated coats (male and female) for the Washington Veterans Administration Medical Center annual Winterhaven for the Homeless Veterans held Jan. 30.
NABVets collected 202 coats for the period of October through December in support of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia homeless veterans who participated in the all-day outreach Winterhaven project from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. which included transportation, personal items distribution, meals and veteran assistance services.
Winterhaven consists of a multi-cultural diverse group of men and women of all ages from all branches of the U.S. military. A number of these men and women are veterans of major U.S. military campaigns, such as the Vietnam War, Desert Shield, Gulf War, Desert Strike, War in Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few. Many of these veterans are currently battling hardships and disabilities that are both physical and cognitive. Some of these challenges are visibly apparent and some are not so visibly apparent. Throughout the service day a number of veterans shared a bit of insight into their current predicament regarding this stage of their lives. The sincere, heartfelt appreciation expressed by the Winterhaven veterans’ towards the many vendors and NABVets who contributed time and effort was extremely rewarding. More than 50 various organizations participated during this all-day event. The groups consisted of the Department of Veterans Affairs, government (federal, state and local) veteran organizations, for-profit and nonprofit organizations in addition to the local community coming together offering hopeful support in a collaborative effort to fight veteran homelessness.
Throughout the day, veterans were given access to a large bank of information, resources and treated to a hot lunch. In addition, veterans experienced a full day of services such as free health screenings, lodging, work, advising for drug/ alcohol dependencies, mental health services, dental exams, HIV testing, thermal apparel and footwear were presented to veteran attendees. Guidance for veterans was accessible through a resource database pertaining to foreclosure anticipation, managing finances, and education. Transportation was provided by the church community and the Metro rail for free to support the Winterhaven attendees.
We are very appreciative of the public’s desires to donate time or financial assistance towards the betterment of all veterans. In an effort to strengthen our support and to protect the integrity of our veterans’ assistance efforts, NAB Vets will make every effort to verify and validate background checks prior to the acceptance of all donations.
Mike Moses, Waldorf The writer is the commander of the National Association for Black Veterans Southern Maryland Chapter 96.