The Benefit

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The Benefit

Marion County Veterans Helping Veterans, Inc. (Vets Helping Vets) organization has one of the lowest rates of administrative costs of any non-profit agency serving veterans and their families.  94¢ of every dollar donated goes directly to veterans and their families.

The highlights of the Vets Helping Vets organization over the last year include:

Transportation

  • Vets Helping Vets transported more than 1,700 veterans to the VA Hospital in Gainesville and provided special transportation on occasions to Lake City, the Villages’ Clinic, and the Ocala Clinic.
  • We provided over 4,000 social service contacts to veterans and their families including counseling, referral, advocacy, and direct social service assistance, including food, clothing, gasoline vouchers, and limited financial assistance for such items as rent, utilities, special dietary needs (Ensure, etc.) for veterans who are on a special diet.
  • We assisted veterans in finding employment.  We worked with veterans seeking employment through counseling and networking on their behalf.
  • We coordinated with the Marion County School District and legislators to bring veterans into the classroom to educate both staff and students as to the contribution of veterans to America.

Education

  • We educate the public and community at large through the media, speaking engagements, workshops, and a weekly radio program informing veterans and their families as to their benefits as well as services available to them through other agencies.
  • We utilize approximately 100 volunteers who drive, perform office work, make hospital and home visits, make minor repairs to veterans’ homes, grocery shopping and errands, as well as wellness checks.
  • Through a cooperative understanding with a DAV service officer, we educate veterans and their families as to their eligibility for compensation benefits and assist them in processing their claims.
  • We worked with local law enforcement, the courts, public defender and state’s attorney to establish a veterans’ court for Marion County, set to begin in July, 2012.
  • We‘re working with a variety of social service and civic organizations to bring services and information to veterans and their families.  As an example, we worked with Habitat for Humanity to establish a housing initiative for veterans to participate in the Habitat for Humanity program.
  • We’re working with organizations such as the Elks Club and others to deliver hot meals to homeless and shut-in veterans in Marion County.

We look forward to continue serving veterans throughout Marion County, the state of Florida, and wherever the need exists.  This has been the mission and passion of the Marion County Veterans Helping Veterans, Inc., organization for the past fifteen years.  We continue to provide these services with a very limited budget, one full-time and three part-time employees, as well as our volunteers.