If you have a Facebook account, Suffolk County United Veterans is enlisting your help for one minute a day through 12/31 to help us win a $25,000 Home Depot gift card in December by voting daily in The Home Depot Foundation’s 2nd annual Aprons in Action Facebook Contest. Vote for SCUV by simply going to: www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation or more directly to the link at https://www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation/app_380232235347479!! The organization that receives the most votes during the month will win the $25,000 prize to help fund an organizational or community improvement project, and will have the opportunity to compete for the grand prize of $250,000 at the end of the year-long program. Until 12/31, please vote early and vote often!!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, SCUV’s Shelter Director Wilkins Young lent a hand at the Red Cross/FEMA shelter at St. Josephs College. In concert with Red Cross, FEMA, Clubhouse of Suffolk, and Suffolk County DSS staffers, Will was able to bring fours individuals into the Vets Place shelter and help six other Vets access critical services, including psychiatric interventions at the Northport VA. In concert with Clubhouse, SCUV is pleased to have been selected by Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Health Services to participate in Project Hope, the FEMA-sponsoredpost-disaster mental health counseling project. For more info, contact Roni Dekoning at (631) 471-7242 x1319.
We were so fortunate that the Vets Place and our houses suffered virtually no damage or even a loss of power--- somebody was watching out for our Vets!! And, Sandy did NOT disrupt the kick-off of Holiday season as Vets enjoyed the Veterans Day free meals at Applebees and MANY treats brought by scouting and other local volunteer groups. A special thank you to the LI Military Car Club, Dennis Kulak and all the car clubs that did their Annual Thanksgiving Day at the diner with the residents of the Veterans Place!
SCUV is honored to be a part in the planning and development of the Pfc Joseph Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Project which is commencing this and next week. The Project evolved from a grant won through the efforts of NY State Senator Lee Zeldin and will establish Vet-to-Vet Peer Support meetings across the County. SCUV’s own Shelter Director, Wilkens Young, will be one of the Peer facilitators; he and his new colleagues will be trained by National Vet-to-Vet Founder Moe Armstrong. Watch for more public information emanating from our County Veterans Services Agency.
Over 100 volunteers from Home Depot, Motorola Corporation and Behr’s Paints volunteered their skills and their day on October 10th for an “Extreme Shelter Makeover” at The Vets Place Shelter in Yaphank. The project included room enhancements, new energy-efficient appliances, an outdoor garden, and exterior upgrades and was made possible through a Home Depot grant award of $14,000 to Suffolk County United Veterans, In addition, food donations collected at all 7 area Home Depot Stores and Motorola locations filled the Vets Place Food Pantry, which serves veterans and military families. Additional support was received by Lexus Construction, and Suffolk County Girl Scouts, who provided some very cool hand-painted bird houses in military themes for the garden.
Our Vets and staff congratulated our first three SCUV graduates of the Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiaitive run by The Retreat, Inc. The course runs for three months and helps fathers, often estranged from their families, gain new skills and insights to assume or re-assume – parenting roles.
SCUV'stransitional house in Middle Island also received some much-needed improvements. A crew from Rebuilding Together, a volunteer home repair organization, installed a new living room floor, painted rooms, refurbished two garden beds, and installed a new backyard shed. Not stopping there, the volunteers returned on November 19 and 20 to install a living room ceiling fan and all new kitchen cabinets. The project was made possible by grant funding of a $4,000 Home Depot gift card by the Home Depot Foundation, as well as an additional $5,000 in grant funding awarded by the Sears Homes for Heroes Foundation.
Thanks so much to our friends at FREE and their Foundation for Human Potential for the donation of a van to be used with our New Freedom Transportation Program, which helps low income people in and around the Town of Brookhaven to access employment and job-directed services. And thanks as well to volunteer Ken Nevor for facilitating this important donation. For more info about New Freedom, contact Transportation Program Coordinator Bob Loos at (631) 924-8888.