Husband and wife Diane and Mike Norton are current HVAF volunteers and former veterans. Diane, a Navy veteran, and Mike, an Air Force veteran, met on a blind date while stationed in Las Vegas.
“We hit it off, and we’ve been married for almost 34 years.”
Diane first heard about HVAF seven years ago, during Carmel’s Fourth of July parade. She walked through the parade in her Navy uniform and heels. Behind her, she saw the HVAF float and chatted with them before the parade started. At the end of the parade, she wasn’t up for walking the 2.5 mile route back to the beginning in her heels! Thankfully, the HVAF float told her to hop on and they will drive her back.
“I knew then that this was a bunch of good people to work with,” Diane said, as she decided then she would volunteer for HVAF.
Last March, Mike retired and had more free time on his hands. He decided to join Diane and serve in the food, clothing, and hygiene pantry. Both of them help the veterans who come through make sure they get their essential items, and do whatever is necessary to help the pantry stay organized.
This is Mike’s first volunteer experience. He said it’s a good feeling being a veteran himself and serving his fellow veterans.
“The first day I came, I really felt overwhelmed about the joy of helping,” Mike said. “So it’s made me come back.”
Diane said he was hooked the first time he came in to volunteer!
“To see him step out of his comfort zone and come down here to do something with me… I almost want to cry – isn’t that cool?” Diane said. “It’s fun watching him interact with people.”
Each week when she comes in, Diane loves working with everyone and seeing how much the community helps our Hoosier Heroes.
“This place wouldn’t be here without donations and volunteers,” Diane said. “When I come in here and see all of these donations… you know there are still a lot of organizations and people that care about veterans.”
We know we cannot open up our pantry to our veterans without you. And you can help us ensure we can continue to do so! Please consider making a donation for our Hoosier Heroes today: