12 Vets of Christmas Day 12: Army National Guard Veteran MichaelDecember 18, 2023
Navy veteran Rosario has achieved 14 months of sobriety thanks to HVAF!January 8, 2024
The holidays are a joyous time of the year for most. Children cannot wait for Santa to bring those sought-after gifts they have wished for or written down on a list. A delicious meal usually accompanies the festivities. There is excitement and anticipation that is often not felt any other time of the year! However, this is not true for all families.
Imagine the pressure and stress on parents who have nothing to provide for their children on Christmas when they still believe in Santa. Or think of the disappointment of no holiday meal, no way to make special memories. For many of the veterans and families in our programs this is the reality they face. This is why every year, HVAF relies on generous donors to adopt veterans and their families enrolled in our programs for Christmas. These donors ensure every veteran and their family have presents to open on Christmas Day!
Generous donors adopted 206 veterans and their families! This is a community effort with the support from churches, civic clubs, individuals, VFWs and American Legions, and corporations. Every year I am blown away by how the donors go above and beyond filling the wish lists and bringing joy to those who need it most.
I want to highlight some special moments I was blessed to witness:
Holy Parrish of Geist Church adopted 100 veterans and their families! When families continued to sign up, they continued to adopt more. Many of the donors from the church reached out to the HVAF families and delivered the gifts themselves at their residences.
The Carmel American Legion Post #155 adopted all the veterans at our Manchester Apartment property, almost 50 veterans!
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and American Legion Post #34 Auxiliary had Christmas parties and gifts for the families living at our Carson Apartment property!
We gave out 103 holiday meal baskets!
A father of 9 children had tears in his eyes when he received the gifts for his kids! It took two different individual donors to make it happen but there were so many gifts, they barely fit in his car!
Pulte Homes adopted 8 families who had asked for gift cards. They went above and beyond by contacting these families and the case manager to research what gifts the families would like and fulfilled their wish list!
One veteran and her three children were in a hotel when I delivered their gifts last year. This year it was extra special to deliver their gifts to their new, beautiful home and to get more hugs from the youngest child who remembered me!
One individual donor who has adopted families for several years, shared her interest in doing more with the organization. She now will be volunteering with our Veteran Engagement Committee, helping plan events for our veterans and their families throughout the year, not just at Christmas!
Beyond adopting families, so many held collection drives for our pantry of food, clothing, hygiene, and items to fill the holiday baskets! With our pantry being busier than ever, this was and continues to be a huge need! Lastly, it takes all staff to be able to pull off the holiday season from helping with donations to coordinating wish lists to delivering gifts. By pulling everyone together, the veterans and families we served were able to have a joyous holiday! If you are interested in supporting HVAF next holiday, please email me at email@example.com.