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You’re needed to help strengthen the veteran community

You’re needed to help strengthen the veteran community

Let’s take a minute to think about the word “community.”

What comes to mind?

For me, a community is a group of people united by a common tie that, in turn, fills them with a sense of belonging, purpose and responsibility. There are two communities I think about a lot: veterans and people who live near me.

Like many of you, I feel called to be an active member in both groups. It’s important to use time and talents to help others, and being involved in our communities keeps them vibrant and strong.

Fostering a vibrant, strong veteran community is why I’m excited to announce a new initiative the national voluntary services team has been working on: DAV Community Impact Day.

Our hope is that on April 6, DAV and Auxiliary members, along with our friends across the country, will come together for a day of service to help veterans in the places we live and to strengthen our bonds.

People who aren’t familiar with DAV will witness what we do to care for veterans living in our communities. It’ll also be a great opportunity to check in on those we haven’t seen in a while and meet new veterans who may need our organization’s help.

There are many ways you can participate, and all we’re asking for is at least an hour of your time. When you pledge your support at communityimpactday.org, we’ll send ideas and resources to help you make the most of your time.

When we collectively come together, our community can do great things. Kevin Johnson and other members of Chapter 28 in Mount Vernon, Illinois, are a great example.

Kevin has been a volunteer driver for the DAV Transportation Network for about seven years, getting veterans to and from their Department of Veterans Affairs medical appointments.

His driving also ensures veterans who are food insecure in his area have meals. Working with the local VA medical facility staff, Kevin and other DAV volunteers use the Transportation Network to deliver meals from the VA food pantry.

This effort really ramped up last Thanksgiving, when volunteers delivered nearly 300 meal boxes—complete with everything needed for a holiday meal, including a gift certificate for a meat of their choice—to veterans in their community.

“Many of these veterans, if it weren’t for programs like this, they wouldn’t have a holiday meal,” Kevin explained.

Kevin’s mindset is a great example to follow as we serve veterans: “I might not be able to do all they need, but I can for sure do a little bit.”

Every person’s “little bit” can make a difference in strengthening the communities we value. With that in mind, I hope that you’ll consider joining us in our inaugural DAV Community Impact Day on April 6.

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