Local organizations help veterans, military

Published on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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A local non-profit organization House 2 Home Network is linking with veteran volunteers to deliver beds to newly housed veterans who are in need of furniture.

H2HN spokesperson Lisa Hust said while many chronically homeless veterans throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County will be housed within the next few weeks thanks to Veterans Affairs Supportive (VAS) housing vouchers, many of those veterans are moving into empty apartments and are in need of furniture. The vouchers from VAS help to cover rent for a full year.

“Beds are the most important donation we receive,” Hust said. “It’s just not a home if you have to spend your first few nights sleeping on the floor.”

House 2 Home Network is coordinating a series of deliveries starting the first week of November. With the help of other combat veteran volunteers, House 2 Home will deliver a bed to each home.

Second only to beds, dressers are the most requested item by House 2 Home Network customers. Other highly requested items include dining sets, night stands, end tables, lamps, pots, pans and kitchen utensils.

Those interested in donating to House 2 Home can call House 2 Home at 360-224-7185 or email  Lisah@whatcomvolunteer.org. Individuals can deliver or request a volunteer to pick up the furniture.

Other resources

The Whatcom County Veterans Program also contributes to a fund to help veterans who are faced with unexpected debts.

The fund can help Veterans pay their utility bills, rent, medical expenses, or even textbooks for college. Applications for assistance are available at the Veterans Assistance Center located at 1000 North Forest Street, Suite 188, in Bellingham.  A Veterans Service Officer is available to help with the application process and can be reached at 360/676-6700.

Send a card to those on duty

The Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross is inviting Whatcom County residents to honor and support military personnel by participating in a holiday card writing campaign on Veteran’s Day.

The event, Holiday Mail for Heroes, is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday November 11 near the food court at Bellis Fair Mall.  Holiday cards and writing tools will be provided, but individuals are invited to donate cards.

All cards will be distributed to local veterans and military members as well as Washington state military personnel currently serving abroad.

“The simple act of receiving a card with a holiday greeting or message of thanks is an enormous morale booster,” said Stacy Rice, emergency services director for the Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross. “It can have a significant impact on a military member.”

Those who cannot attend but still wish to send cards to troops can visit www.redcross.org/holidaymail. Cards can be mailed to Holiday Mail for Heroes: PO Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.