The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

December 2003
AVVA REPORT
   
 

What We Stand For

BY NANCY SWITZER, AVVA NATIONAL PRESIDENT

We are pleased to announce the following recipients of $1,000 AVVA Homeless Grants: the Tallahassee Coalition for the Homeless in Florida and Joint Efforts, Inc., in California. We look forward to helping organizations that aid the homeless. If you are involved with a homeless project and would like to apply for a Homeless Grant, go to our web site for more information and an application.

In August, AVVA made donations to the VVA Women's Committee, to 2003 AVVA / VVA Project Friendship, and to Sons and Daughter's in Touch. In November, Mary Miller and I attended the Gold Star Mother's banquet, and we made a donation to the organization for the restoration of their beautiful headquarters.

During the AVVA Leadership Conference, Rochester Chapter 20 gave $1,000 to the Howie Lewczyk Fund. When we came home from the conference we were told about a serviceman in Iraq who had contracted an illness and needed to be flown home for treatment. AVVA made a donation so that his wife could be near him at Walter Reed Hospital during his convalescence.

It was a pleasure to attend the VVA California State Council meeting and meet wonderful members of VVA and AVVA. During the meeting AVVA members decided to incorporate. Many questions were answered. Debby Clergborn is the State Representative; she has a great agenda for AVVA members in California.

The board has been very pleased with the programs that AVVA members are involved in. Working side by side with VVA chapters, they have accomplished many great things, hosting bingo nights at the VA, to donating clothing to the homeless, visiting veterans and their families during crises, and working on issues such as Agent Orange add. We are proud of what AVVA stands for.

May your holidays be filled with peace knowing you have given of yourself in a time of need. Thank you for being a member of AVVA. We appreciate your outstanding service to veterans and their families.

Pennsylvania AVVA Report

In The Process
BY LINDA HABERKORN

Pennsylvania AVVA is working on its first Project Friendship. We have chosen the Perimeter, a day center for homeless veterans at the Philadelphia multiservice center, as the recipient. The center sees 35-50 veterans per day. We are collecting underwear (for men and for women and in all sizes), socks, personal-sized toiletries, hats, and gloves. These items will be presented to the center at the December Pennsylvania State Council meeting. Future Project Friendships will benefit other facilities in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania AVVA is in the process of incorporation. Petitions have been submitted to National AVVA. We will have an election for officers for the newly incorporated Pennsylvania AVVA at our December meeting.

Betty Evans, the AVVA representative affiliated with VVA Chapter 678, received Pennsylvania's Angel Award in September for her help with the fund-raiser at the VVA National Convention in St. Louis.

The Pennsylvania VVA State Council will allow AVVA to have a page on its website. Janet McManus, an AVVA member affiliated with Chapter 266, is the web mistress. At each State Council meeting, chapters are encouraged to submit "PA AVVA in Action Reports." These reports will be collated and placed on the web page, along with a list of chapter representatives and the membership counts. The site also includes upcoming events. Go to www.vva-pa.org  then click on the AVVA page.

We are trying to raise money for projects and expenses. Our tote bag sale was very successful. These bags have VVA and AVVA logos in overlapping hearts. Our fund-raiser during the December meeting will be a silent auction.

Pennsylvania AVVA members turn trash into treasures. Philadelphia Chapter 266 collects can tabs for Ronald McDonald's Houses. They also collect used postage stamps for veterans in Arizona.The Pennsylvania State Council collects hotel toiletries for the homeless veterans center at the Philadelphia Multi-service Center. Box tops are collected for the Scotland School for children of veterans.


AVVA REPORT, PART II

Homeless Grant Program Across The Country
BY NANCY MONTGOMERY, AVVA FINANCE CHAIR

Since the beginning of the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America's grant program for Homeless Projects in America, the organization has awarded a total of $10,000 in grants.

The New Jersey Veterans Haven was the first recipient of an AVVA Homeless grant in December 2001. The grant provided toys and clothing at Christmas for the children and grandchildren of the residents of Veterans Haven, all of whom are formerly homeless veterans living in a traditional housing setting. Local VVA and AVVA chapters were involved. VVA James "Pop" Johnson Memorial Chapter 602 received a grant to help fund the Cape May County, New Jersey, Children in Need Project. The chapter also provided toys and clothing for needy children of Cape May County and Veterans Haven.

The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center applied its AVVA grant to constructing private space for veteran client assessment. AVVA's fourth recipient, the VVA Missouri State Council, used its grant to promote its Kansas City Homeless Veterans Program, which provides home-cooked meals for about fifty homeless men and women two nights a week.

At the AVVA Convention in August 2002 in Tucson, four AVVA Homeless Grants were presented. Connie Nieciecki accepted a $1,000 grant on behalf of VVA/AVVA Chapter 826 of Panama City, Florida, to assist the House of Hope, a local non-profit organization that provides shelter for homeless people recovering from substance-abuse addictions. Chapter 826 provides food and clothing for the shelter. Sandy Wilson accepted the grant awarded to the Vets, Inc., of Monroe, Michigan. The $1,000 will cover the costs of heat and electricity for this homeless veterans facility.

The VVA Montana State Council was awarded $1,000 to underwrite its 2002 Salute to Veterans Homeless Stand-Down, which was held in Billings, Montana, on August 17, 2002. Bill Williams accepted the grant on behalf of the state council. The last recipient, Friends of Veterans, of White River Junction, Vermont, helps veterans in Vermont and New Hampshire. Under the direction of Anthony ("AJ") Paige, this organization focuses on homeless prevention by helping veterans with utility and shelter emergencies. Many VVA and AVVA members are involved in this program.

Grants are available to help veterans and their families in your community through the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America. A grant application may be found on the AVVA website or by e-mailing vbnancym@aol.com

   

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