We Care Charity, 411 Cares and others ‘serve’ the VNEOC community

We Care Charity, 411 Cares and others ‘serve’ the VNEOC community

Helping veterans either transition from homelessness to permanent housing or stabilize their current situation, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC) has itself been assisted by fellow local nonprofit, We Care Charity.

“They helped provide thousands of meals for some of our veterans hit the hardest by the pandemic,” said VNEOC’s John Ford.

According to Shefali Kalyani, executive director of We Care Charity in Salem, NH, their support of VNEOC represents just the tip of a proverbial iceberg.

“During COVID-19, we are making sandwich bags for 7 shelters and have provided more than 36,000 meals via our brown bag lunch program,” she said. “We also provide food for about 3,000 people at 18 shelters, 4 soup kitchens and 2 group homes in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.”

She said such efforts have largely been supported by volunteers.

“We cannot do what we do without our volunteers,” said Kalyani, who said daily meal deliveries to VNEOC have included a sandwich, snack, fresh fruit and juice box.

“They often also came with a hand-written note or decorated bag, courtesy of these same volunteers,” she added.

Expressing support at the collaboration with We Care Charity, Ford says other community-minded agencies, including 411 Cares and Tufts Health Plan, have also stepped in to offer support.

“411 Cares has been helping provide meals for our veterans since May,” he said. “Between Shefali, Dee O’Neill of 411 Cares and the support of Tufts Health Plan, too, we are all working to collaborate more effectively to reduce the need for our respective services in the first place…VNEOC is thinking big picture.”

Ford is not the only one to think big picture either.

“Our vision is to connect the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said O’Neill, who has made arrangements with locally owned Fantini Bakery, Chris’s Farm Stand and Benedetti’s Deli to provide assistance. “We are working on agreements with other local businesses to contribute as well .”

Serving MetroWest and Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH), VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.

To learn more about We Care Charity, visit wecarecharity.org. To learn more about 411 Cares, visit facebook.com/411cares.

Patriot Nissan “drives” successful fundraiser

Patriot Nissan “drives” successful fundraiser

Held July 15 through August 31, Patriot Nissan’s Service Drive Five for VNEOC helped raise more than $6,500 to support veterans served by Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC).

Serving Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH), VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.

Matt Drohan, general manager at Patriot Nissan in Salem, said supporting veterans holds “great personal meaning” for him. 

“I served in the Navy and have had good fortune in my life with my career, but I know many others who have served in the military have not,” he said. “We thank VNEOC for all they do and all the businesses and individuals who participated in this event.”

One of these businesses matched the first $3,000 raised during the 6-week long event.

“I can’t thank our anonymous donor enough or Patriot Nissan for their financial contribution, their time in planning the event and working through all kinds of logistics with us,” said VNEOC’s John Ford. “Local businesses donated for weekly raffles, Patriot Nissan created videos, promoted us — it was an incredible effort.”

During the event, Patriot Nissan made a $5 donation to VNEOC for every customer who serviced his/her vehicle there. Donations were also gathered through a DipJar, which provided customers with a way to add a donation to VNEOC when paying their service bill.

In looking to the future, Ford said Patriot Nissan has committed to future partnerships, too. Their support, he noted, will “change lives.”

“We help veterans get back and stay on their feet,” he said. “They become self-sustaining and invested community members — Patriot Nissan is now part of VNEOC’s story.”

To learn more about the collaboration with Patriot Nissan, click here https://patriotnissan.com/service-drive-five-for-VNEOC

Chart Productions puts Voices of VNEOC Spotlight on Others

Chart Productions puts Voices of VNEOC Spotlight on Others

When Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC) launched a new community outreach strategy earlier this year, the hope was to put a spotlight on others, an objective met through the Voices of VNEOC podcast.

“If we are going to improve the lives of veterans and their families, we need to recognize any organization whose work intersects with ours,” noted VNEOC’s John Ford.

Produced by Jordan Rich of Chart Productions and distributed by Fast Twitch Media, Voices of VNEOC is currently working with several nonprofits in New Hampshire, including the Wright Museum of World War II.

“The Wright is an incredible place that works to ensure we never forget the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our nation,” said Ford. “I’m thrilled Jordan and his team are helping us tell a larger story.”

Founded in 1994, The Wright in Wolfeboro, NH features more than 14,000 items in its collection from both the home front and battle field. Its 2020 season is highlighted by Vietnam: The Real War — A Photographic History from the Associated Press, an exhibit that features 50 photos taken during the 1960’s and 70’s.

“I appreciate Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and their willingness to allow us to talk about what we do and why,” said Executive Director Mike Culver. “We are thankful for them letting us use their platform.”

This same upcoming Voices of VNEOC podcast will also feature the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire in Londonderry, NH and Honor Flight New England in Hooksett, NH.

“We are extremely excited to be working closely with these institutions,” said Ed “Chief” Mitchell, executive director of VNEOC. “All these organizations have strong connections to veterans and have hearts that are committed to veteran causes.”

For Rich, who has been with WBZ for 25 years and previously kept listeners company on WRKO and WSSH-FM, Voices of VNEOC is special because the “inspiring stories of our veterans have no boundaries.”

“We’re excited to feature interviews with veterans and organizations throughout parts of  New Hampshire on our new podcast,” he said. “These are stories that need to be shared and this podcast makes that possible.”

Serving Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH), VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.

To learn more about Chart Productions, which Rich founded in 1978 with Ken Carberry, visit chartproductions.com.

VNEOC helps veteran “one step, one day at a time”

VNEOC helps veteran “one step, one day at a time”

When veteran Jennifer Bynum successfully completed the Transition in Place (TIP) program earlier this summer at Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC), her reward was a home to call her own in her native Texas.

“We helped her create a transition and travel plan that resulted in a home purchase so she could be closer to her family,” said Rachel Hagen, who manages TIP. “Jennifer did all the work — we just helped her navigate the process.”

This work, according to Bynum, included self-care.

“I needed to realize that self-care is paramount with mental illness,” she said. “I needed to build a safe and calm environment. VNEOC helped show me the difference between unhealthy and healthy choices in all facets of my life.”

Her time spent in TIP, she said, was an emotional one.

“It’s hard to grow and go through mental illness,” she added.

Noting Bynum was a participant in TIP for 14 months, Hagen said the program is not “a homeless shelter.”

“We focus on housing, employment, education, mental and medical health,” she said. “We help veterans build their networks for social support, too. We help them get on track.”

In TIP, veterans are expected to assume the lease for their apartment within 6 to 12 months.

“Jennifer worked hard to move through the program,” added Hagen.

According to Bynum, a big part of her struggle was accepting help.

“I had to learn to trust and rely on people’s experiences to help me grow,” she said. “The program showed me how to dive into my short-term and long-term goals for health and healthy living one step and one day at a time.”

In summing up her experience with VNEOC, Bynum said the staff never left [her] side in good or bad days.

“What I needed was loving healers who were professional and driven,” she said. “I could not be more grateful.”

Serving Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH), VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.

VNEOC releases new line of t-shirts to support veterans causes

VNEOC releases new line of t-shirts to support veterans causes

Serving the needs of veterans throughout Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC) recently released a new line of t-shirts in partnership with Northeast Promotion & Apparel (NEPA).

According to VNEOC’s John Ford, the messages and graphics on the shirts is what he believes will interest the public. One t-shirt displays a message about veterans defeating COVID-19 while others are aimed toward parents or children of veterans.

“It’s a way for us to promote the important role veterans play in our society and have fun at the same time,” he said. “I’m thrilled at the efforts of Northeast Promotion & Apparel to help create these engaging designs.”

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the t-shirts will support veteran services, some of which include basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education.

For Matthew Olivari, NEPA managing partner, the latest line of t-shirts reflects their appreciation of the sacrifices “veterans have made for our country.”

“NEPA is very in tune with the needs of our veterans,” he said. “It’s why why we teamed up with VNEOC to host an apparel store, accessible through their website, that features a variety of branded apparel as well as a whole section of new ‘veteran’ style t-shirts.”

Ford added, “Each shirt has a logo on the back, too, just below the collar that states, ‘This shirt supports veteran housing.’ When you purchase these shirts, you really make a difference in the lives of those we serve.”

Founded in 1985, VNEOC serves veterans and their families in Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH).

To purchase apparel at the VNEOC Store, visit vneoc.itemorder.com.

Jordan Rich and Chart Productions to launch ‘Voices of VNEOC’

Jordan Rich and Chart Productions to launch ‘Voices of VNEOC’

Having kept listeners company during their commutes for years as morning drive host for Boston stations like WRKO and WSSH-FM, Jordan Rich is launching a new podcast series with Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC).

Titled, Voices of VNEOC, the Chart Productions podcast is available on Apple, Google, Stitcher, Deezer and other platforms.

“Throughout my life, I have been an ardent supporter of veterans causes,” said Rich, whose current podcast, On Mic with Jordan Rich, reaches an international audience. “My father was in the army stationed in Germany in the early 1950’s, so my interest in this cause is personal, too.”

Serving Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties (MA) and Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties (NH), VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy as an Accredited VSO, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.

As for its composition, Rich said each Voices of VNEOC podcast will be in magazine format and last approximately 30 minutes.

“Each episode will feature several short segments on different aspects of the work performed by VNEOC,” he explained. “We are going to reveal the honest to goodness stories of veterans and how their lives are improving. It will be a first-class production.”

Rich credited colleague Dan Thibeault of Fast Twitch Media for bringing this and other Chart Productions podcasts to “the cloud.”  

“Dan handles the development of the podcast RSS feeds, artwork, launch and networking of podcasts,” he said. “His contributions are crucial.”

According to VNEOC’s John Ford, the opportunity to work with Rich and Thibeault is “remarkable.”

“I especially love the chance to share the stories of some incredible men and women who have served our nation,” he said. “I cannot think of a better person than Jordan Rich to help tell these stories.”

To learn more about Chart Productions, which Rich founded in 1978 with Ken Carberry, visit chartproductions.com.