A Celebration of Freedom
Thanks to Freedom Grants, offered by the Elks National Veterans Service Commission, the Elks are now doing even more to honor our veterans. Funded by the Elks National Foundation, these $2,000 grants will allow 75 Lodges to serve veterans or active duty military personnel in their Lodge community.

During Veterans Remembrance Month, the ENF will feature a different Freedom Grant project in each business day leading up to Veterans Day on November 11.

November 11: Seattle, Wash., Lodge No. 92

To support Seattle’s first Stand Down next fall, members of Seattle, Wash., Lodge No. 92 will provide up to 800 boxed lunches for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. Lodge members will also have an office at the Stand Down to help veterans obtain the forms they need to apply for benefits. In addition, the more than 50 Elks, family and friends involved will distribute toiletries, warm clothing and other necessities to these veterans.

November 10: Novato, Calif., Lodge No. 2655

Elks from Novato, Calif., Lodge No. 2655 will organize a fishing trip for veterans staying at the Yountville Veterans Home, and local active duty personnel and their families. The Lodge will partner with the Boy Scouts of America and the Air Force ROTC to provide this chance for veterans to enjoy the great outdoors.

November 9: Hendersonville, N.C., Lodge No. 1616

Play ball! Members of Hendersonville, N.C., Lodge No. 1616 will take local veterans out to an Asheville Tourists minor league baseball game. The veterans will sit in a special section, and will get to meet the team. In case they didn’t fill up on peanuts and crackerjacks, after the game, the veterans will enjoy a steak dinner at the Lodge.

November 8: Middletown, Ohio, Lodge No. 257

To give thanks to the families of troops serving overseas, members of Middletown, Ohio, Lodge No. 257 will deliver complete Thanksgiving dinner baskets to those families in need. The Lodge will also host an Honor Night dinner for all local families of deployed solders.

November 7: Tri-Cities, Wash., Lodge No. 2755

In partnership with the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition, members of Tri-Cities, Wash., Lodge No. 2755 will make sure veterans staying at a transitional housing unit have the appliances they need. Elks will purchase a freezer, range hood, and other items to make the transitional housing feel like home. After the Elks have installed the new appliances, they’ll break them in with a party for the residents.

November 6: Orange Park, Fla., Lodge No. 2605

Members of Orange Park, Fla., Lodge No. 2605 are furthering the Elks’ partnership with the USO. The Lodge will supply bottled water all year to the USO at the Jacksonville Welcome Center.

November 5: Boise, Idaho, Lodge No. 310

Veterans living in the Idaho State Veterans Home will always be entertained thanks to the members of Boise, Idaho, Lodge No. 310. Elks will provide the home with up to 15 32 inch TVs for the veterans to enjoy.

November 4: Derby, Conn., Lodge No. 571

Elks at Derby, Conn., Lodge No. 571 will make sure local veterans who have no family to care for them have the support they need. The Lodge will deliver 10 frozen dinners each month to six veterans in need throughout the year.

November 3: Richmond, Va., Lodge No. 45

Veterans will get to visit our nation’s capital thanks to members of Richmond, Va., Lodge No. 45. The Lodge will accompany local veterans on trips to Washington, D.C. to see the Vietnam Memorial Wall and the World War II Memorial, and attend a Washington Redskins football game.

November 2: Fort Worth, Tex., Lodge No. 124

Members of Fort Worth, Tex., Lodge No. 124 will partner with the USO, VFW and American Legion to provide a musical therapy program for wounded veterans. The program, run through the local VA hospital, gives veterans the opportunity to learn to play the guitar, helping them heal through music.

November 1: Nashua, N.H., Lodge No. 720

Members of Nashua, N.H., Lodge No. 720 will partner with Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing to purchase warm clothing, cleaning supplies, cookware, dishes, towels and other necessities for veterans staying in local homeless shelters. Each month, the Elks will host a dinner for these veterans, giving them a warm meal and helping them to meet new friends.

In 2011-12, the Elks National Foundation allocated more than $1.135 million to fund the Elks Veterans Service Commission. For more information on the Veterans Service Commission’s work, visit www.elks.org/vets.

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