|Week of Hope volunteers at HVAF|
Week of Hope, a nonprofit organization that supports youth summer mission trips, sent 40 volunteers to HVAF during the month of July. The volunteers represented church and faith communities from across the country, and they fanned out into Indianapolis neighborhoods where HVAF properties are located, working alongside HVAF maintenance staff and clients to beautify housing properties.
Volunteers are important partners in our efforts to end homelessness among veterans by supporting their return to self-sufficiency and engaging at-risk veterans to prevent them from becoming homeless.
The Week of Hope teams, which arrived in small groups of 10-15 along with a group leader for one-week projects at a time, painted porches at the La Fever, Jackson, and Newton properties and they removed clutter from the Keltner House.
The Udell House built in the 1950’s is one of HVAF’s older properties. The home had not had any updates to its cement block garage since HVAF acquired the property in 1999. Volunteers cleaned and painted the garage and cut weeds that had blocked the garage. They also scraped off the old paint and repainted it.
Autumn Weaver, 16, signed up for service work through her Lutheran Church in Garner, Iowa, and painted porches. Her father is a veteran and so this project holds a special place in her heart because she always wanted to serve those who have served.
|Volunteer Josh Brown at HVAF|
“We met one gentleman (veteran) when we took the old carpet out and he was so thankful for just the small things, and it makes me feel so thankful for the little things,” he says.
We showed our thanks for their work by awarding all Week of Hope volunteers a certificate of appreciation as well as HVAF logo key chains, but we believe the greatest gift the volunteers took home was a greater knowledge of the issue of homelessness among veterans.
“It was almost unthinkable for our kids that our brave men and women veterans would find themselves homeless, and that is one of the reasons why they’ve been so motivated to help,” says Project Leader Sarah Roelofs.
“These volunteers have taken time out of their day to help out others in need,” says HVAF Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Anderson. “Whether they came in for 2 hours or 30, we recognize that without their enthusiasm and hard work we couldn’t do it alone