Veterans Service Commision
As long as there are Veterans the Elks will never forget them.
We have decided to launch a new series of articles in the Elklet this month to highlight the charitable works of our lodge to give back to our community. For this first Charity Spotlight we want to focue on our largest area of charitable giving and that is giving back to our nations veterans and currently serving military members. Each year our lodge undertakes several charitable projects to serve these heros of our nation ranging from our veterans day lunch to partnering with community organizations to aid veterans in need. All told could contributed hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to serve our nations veterans and military members. keep reading to learn more about the project of the Salem Elks Lodge.
1. Veterans Day Lunch – Each year we offer a free lunch to veterans and their spouses. This event represents around 40 volunteer hours and $750 in donations.
2. Lebanon Veterans Home – The last two years we have contributed needed support to the Oregon Veterans Home in Lebanon. Last year we put on a Christmas show with choir and gift bags for each veteran in the facility. Each one recieved a blanket, gift card, puzzle book, and more. This project represents over 200 volunteer hours and over $3,000 in donations
3. Food Boxes – Last year we gave food boxes to 15 veterans families during our Christmas Food Box Program. This project included 50 volunteer hours and $500 in donations.
4. Kids Christmas Drive – Each year we partner with community agencies such as the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, Oregon National Guard Family Assistance Program, and East Seals Veterans Programs to identify families of veterans and serving military memebrs in need. We provide warm clothing, toys and more to these families at Christmas. Last year we served a record 39 children from 13 families. This project had over 100 volunteer hours and $4,000 in donations.
5. A new project this year we will be working with the Easterseals Homeless Veterans Program to provide welcome home kits to veterans transitioning into housing from homelessness. We have an initial budget of $2,000 and project around 50 volunteer hours.
6. Another new project also projected with a budget of $2,000 and 50 volunteer hours is working with Eastseals veterans employment program to help unemployed veterans obtain employment and have the right tools for their careers. This program will provide interview clothes, work clothes, and resume assistanc to veterans.
7. Then there are the miscellanious veterans donations we have made to individuals to help with down payment assistance, rent assistance, the Vietnam war memorial fund and more totalling nearly $2000.
All said and done this represents $12,463 wouth of volunteer hours and an additional $14,250 in donations of cash and items to veterans and military memebrs for a total impact of $26,713. And that is just one year. So be proud to be an Elk, and proud of the work we do serving others. Check next months Elklet for our next 336 Charity Spotlight!!
Salem Lodge would like to thank all the men and women serving our great country and our thoughts and prayers are with you for a safe return home.