On Tuesday, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini stopped by to present a CARES fund relief check to Executive Director Ed Mitchell in support of the services VNEOC has continued to provide to local Veteran families.
“These funds will help offset the numerous expenses accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has dramatically affected the VNEOC and the many Veterans we serve”, said Mitchell.
The city of Haverhill and Mayor Fiorentini, in particular, have been staunch supporter(s) of the VNEOC for many, many years. Mitchell continued, “The Mayor knows who we are and what we do, and his continued support makes us stronger, more professional, and enables us to continue our outreach to those in need of our support and services.”
Thank you, Mayor Fiorentini, for your unyielding dedication and support for our Veterans! May the good Lord continue to bless you and your family.
The Boys Soccer Team at Bishop Fenwick High School have, like many other school sports teams, endured a season like no other,so it was only fitting that they ended their season “like no other”.
Team Captains Liam Foley, TJ Genzale, Aidan Dwyer, and Andrew Perry had a challenge this year on and off the field. COVID rules proved difficult for team activities such as limited fan attendance for games, and for the team to participate in their service projects benefitting the community.
Team Coach Tony Enos wanted to have an end of year celebration to present accolades and awards since their team banquet was postponed until Spring (hopefully). The Captains determined that they wanted to, for their service project, do something for Veterans.
TJ Genzale said he was glad they could do something for Veterans because they deserve so much.
Lisa Foley (Liam’s mom) reached out to a contact who was connected to veteran’s organizations and they recommended Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (www.vneoc.org).
Lisa spoke with John Ford, Director of Outreach & Development, and created a list of items that the Veterans would benefit from – hats, gloves, scarves, chapstick, hand and foot warmers, personal care items, etc.
The captains sent out an email challenging all player families to bring something from the list. The email said that, “We are a generous group,” and challenged the team to show “just how generous”.
So, at their season ending celebration, the team members and their families showed up with donations in hand. Captains Andrew Perry and Aiden Dwyer were talking about how happy they were with all of the donations as, “so many were suffering right now and in need.” “This will be so great,” said Perry. “So glad this was a success,” said Dwyer.
Liam Foley assisted with organizing all of the donations after the event. “I know my team is a bunch of great guys, but all this stuff is kind of overwhelming. It’s so great to know that they all agree how important this is, said Liam.”
“What a great group of young men, foregoing their event to provide for others in need. We thank the team and their families for their generosity,” said Ford. Veterans Northeast Outreach Center will distribute the donated items to a wide range of veterans who will benefit from the team’s efforts!
Having helped thousands of veterans secure and maintain housing in Massachusetts since 1985, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNEOC) launched the podcast, Voices of VNEOC, earlier this year to shed light on other related issues.
“Housing is a big part of what we do, but it is absolutely not all we do,” said VNEOC’s John Ford, who initially pitched the idea of the podcast series to Jordan Rich of Chart Productions.
Having kept listeners company during their commutes for years as morning drive host for Boston stations like WRKO and WSSH-FM, Rich said he did not need much convincing.
“I have always been a big supporter of veterans, so this project seemed like an important way to demonstrate this commitment to address serious issues affecting our veterans,” he said.
These issues include mental health, food insecurity and suicide, all of which have been addressed in the first two episodes of Voices for VNEOC.
“This is a hard-hitting series that looks at the reasons why some veterans struggle after their military service,” explained Ford, who said VNEOC also serves southern NH. “Our hope is to educate the general public on why veterans need our support.”
To that end, Ford said VNEOC recently launched a year-end fundraising campaign, “Voices for Veterans,” which he hopes will not only raise money, but awareness.
“With proper support within a clinical framework, we can help veterans get their lives squared away and become self-sufficient, which is VNEOC’s mission,” he said.
The ongoing pandemic, however, has made this mission more difficult.
“Revenues are down, expenses are up — this is a very challenging time for not just veterans, but our staff,” said Ford. “We are working as lean as we possibly can, but we are in a financially challenging position right now and need help.”
Rich said he hopes Voices of VNEOC, distributed by Fast Twitch Media, can help propel “Voices for Veterans.”
“VNEOC is an incredible organization,” he said. “I hope our podcast shows their commitment to our veterans and that they are worthy of community support.”
Serving southern NH and northeastern MA, including MetroWest and the Cape, VNEOC provides basic food and housing, advocacy, counseling, peer support, case management, employment and education to veterans and their families.
To subscribe to Voices of VNEOC, or support “Voices for Veterans, click here.
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.”