The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress
What We Stand For
BY NANCY SWITZER, AVVA
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
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
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 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
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
BY NANCY MONTGOMERY, AVVA
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
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
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E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org