One out of every three homeless men has put on a uniform and served this country, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. A Veteran- someone who has fought to keep us safe, someone who has made it possible for us to enjoy our freedoms, someone who has made it possible for us to sleep peacefully each night- will ALWAYS have the full support of the Wheaton Rotary Club.
In December, Wheaton Rotarians held their annual Christmas Inn fundraiser. This year, Wheaton Rotary President-elect, Lori Belha decided that the fund in need donations should stay local and that we should serve those that have so bravely served us. When asked why focus on Veterans, Belha responds that, “It’s just the right thing to do.” The Christmas Inn fundraiser, the club’s sole annual fundraising event, raised more than $50k and made it possible to purchase a 2012 Ford Focus from Packey Webb of Glen Ellyn for Veterans at the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (MSHV).
The new car will make it possible for Veterans to go on job interviews, receive healthcare at Hines VA Hospital, attend appointments and more. Lack of Transportation is a huge barrier to employment for Veterans served by MSHV. You can have the skills but if you cannot get to the job for an interview or for work, what good are the skills? Wheaton Rotary fundraising efforts will make it for homeless veterans to get to interviews and back and forth to work while they save money to obtain their own transportation. According to the MSHV Director of Operations, Pam Kostecki, “We very much appreciate Rotary’s efforts and local support. “We were touched by their heartfelt desire to give back to our veterans, who sacrificed so much for our count.”
On Thursday, February 14th, Rotary club members met representatives from MSHV at Packey Webb to pick up the new car. Belha was beaming with pride and said she was just so glad the club was able to help. According to Belha, “Picking up the car made all of the fundraising efforts worth it.”
To watch a short video about the partnership of Wheaton Rotary and MSHV, please visit the following link: http://youtu.be/P49ToK48qxw.
The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is a not-for-profit organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans. Housing services include a transitional living facility named in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Larson, and 6 Affordable Housing apartments. Both programs provide services to U.S. veterans of any era to help them out of homelessness and back to useful, productive lives.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.
The Rotary Club of Wheaton meets every Wednesday at 12:10pm at Arrowhead Golf Club on Butterfield in Wheaton. Through the club’s one yearly fundraiser, Christmas Inn, the Rotary Club of Wheaton is able to provide assistance to various local organizations and projects including: Humanitarian Service Project. S.C.A.R.C.E, Literacy Volunteers of DuPage, Wheaton Public Library, Wheaton High School’s Operation Safe Celebration, Wheaton Elementary School Student Scholarships for College, Vocational Scholarships, and more. Recent International projects have included: providing funding to build and furnish a home for orphans in the Dominican Republic; sending a container project to send medical equipment, school supplies and clothing to Uganda; purchase computers for a woman’s shelter in Peru for vocational training.
For more information regarding the Rotary Club of Wheaton, please contact Erica Loiacono at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-327-6059.