On Saturday, we hosted the 4th annual ( . . . with a two-year pandemic delay) State Veterans Chair training. We were lucky enough to have the Director of the Atlanta VA Medical Center and the Chief of the Center for Development and Civic Engagement as guest presenters. Check in with your State Veterans Chair to ask about it and see how you can get involved in serving veterans in your state!
On Sunday, we hosted our first-ever Elks Idea Exchange! Volunteers gathered to share ideas about recruiting volunteers, forming strong community partnerships, and starting a Welcome Home Kit program at your Lodge.
We also hosted a seminar all about Ending Veteran Homelessness and reviewed the last seven years of the Welcome Home program. Did you know that since 2010, veteran homelessness has dropped fifty percent?
You can view the slides here. We were lucky enough to have many expert volunteers in the audience to share their ideas and success stories.
One million thanks to the Elks for donating more than one million square feet of leather!
We closed out a big Sunday when outgoing ENVSC Chair John Amen delivered our Annual Report at the Opening Ceremonies, where we debuted a thank you video from one of our longtime partners. Watch it below!
All week, we met with volunteers and veterans the ENVSC booth. Help Heal Veterans staff (and Elk member) Chip Purkey was at the booth to spread the word about HHV craft kits. Thanks to the work of our leather program volunteers, Voluntary Service Representatives and Lodge Veterans Chairs can order free craft kits for veterans.
View the order form here!
We ended the Convention with a Tuesday matinee of the movie Oildale! The film’s writer and producer joined us to discuss the film and the issues of homelessness, veteran support, and community togetherness that the film addresses. Learn more about the film here.
A few scenes from Convention: At left, Timothy Johnson and Cheri Johnson of Minnesota find their names on the State Veteran Volunteer of the Year List. Congrats to Timothy and Cheri!
In the middle photo, Programs Associates Nadezh Mulholland and Rene Villalobos carry our flag and other supplies back from the State Veterans Chair Training.
In the last photo at right, Leather Program Volunteer Extraordinaire Joan Mudge joins Veterans Leather Program Chair Dennis McAleese (second from left) and Vice-Chair Chuck Mudge (third from left) for a photo after being surprised by appreciation awards from Help Heal Veterans staff member Chip Purkey (at right).