Veterans’ Outreach is very thankful for all our volunteers. Their donation of time and undying enthusiasm to help our veterans is unmatched. They are the true heartbeat of our organization. Without them we could not help thousands of veterans each year. Below you will learn a little about each of our chosen honoree volunteers and how they help Veterans’ Outreach keep on ticking. We honor and recognize each region’s “Volunteer of the Year” as well as one “Donor of the Year”.
Alabama Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Lukas Johnson
Lukas Johnson is a veteran from the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, he was with the 1307th combat engineering group based in Huntsville Alabama. His duty was to locate and neutralize I E D’ s. His unit was highly successful and thankfully all came home. He has been instrumental in advertising Veterans’ Outreach in a straight forward, the no-nonsense manner by simply letting people know who we are and what we do for veterans. At a recent place of employment, he helped in the design and sale of military, biblically oriented T-shirts. A portion of the proceeds went directly to Veterans’ Outreach, this was all his idea and the people who bought the T-shirts were all in with the donation to Veterans’ Outreach. Although he has very little time on his new job, (12-hour swing shift) if asked to help we are sure that he would willingly give of himself. Lukas is a true patriot and hero, and a great friend to all veterans.
Florida Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Susie Cherry
Susie Cherry, a Florida migrant from Massachusetts where she taught at the high school level and then was data administrator for a college, contacted our Sarasota, FL office to volunteer her services over a year ago. With her computer skills and eagerness to help veterans, she administers our various databases such as the record of veterans served by date and by the county for statistical support. Susie is very community oriented – volunteers at the local Literacy Council, teaching English to migrants, participates in Angel Pillows (a group of volunteers stuff, and sew to close, pillows that are donated to hospices and to homeless that have found at least temporary housing and have no possessions) and other activities, and is very active in her church. Always interested, always active, she even makes donations to our cause in assisting veterans in need.
Kentucky Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Roger Hanshaw
Roger Hanshaw is an active member of the Olive Hill Senior Community Center and Olive Hill Trail town. In his professional life, he owned a construction company for years. Roger was our Donor of the Year a couple of years ago when he decided to donate his family’s land located near the famous Mushroom Mines in Lawton, KY to Veterans’ Outreach. The land in total is about 118 acres. We couldn’t be more grateful for the donation and for his continued support of Veterans’ Outreach. The project entitled Heroes’ Passage is intended to help veterans get back on their feet. Roger is not a veteran, but he has always seen it in his heart to help veterans. His father was a WWII veteran and his middle daughter is in the service as a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air National Guard currently. His father acquired the land in 1938, however, the house burnt down in the 60s forcing them to move away. Roger is a known volunteer in his county and has been voted volunteer of the year in his county as well. Not only did Roger donate this land, but he also donates his time. Roger is a warm and generous person and we are incredibly thankful to have him as a lifelong friend and supporter of Veterans’ Outreach.
Ohio Volunteer of the Year 2018 – Ronald Mitchell
Ron is a Navy Veteran that came to know Veterans’ Outreach through our Direct Aid Program. Ron served with his twin brother and they were entertainers. His background made for good conversation with our Services Director, Bob Julian. Ron confessed that he spent entirely too much time just “sitting around the house”. Bob suggested that Ron come by the office to volunteer.
Ron started helping out with Heroes’ Closet, our clothing pantry where veterans can browse through and choose clothing for free. His occasional help has turned into a daily routine. He now helps with our all of our programs and whatever needs come up. Ron has become a big part of our Veterans’ Outreach Family. His eager, upbeat attitude and joyful nature are contagious. He always has a friendly smile, a story, and a big laugh to offer. On top of all of that, he is a very hard worker. He tells us he is blessed to have the opportunity to get out of the house and spend time here at our Liberty office, but he is wrong – we are all blessed by knowing him.
Donor of the Year 2018 – Clubhouse Brewing Company
About a year ago, we received an email from Zach Dean, owner of the Clubhouse Brewing Company of Warren, Ohio. “I am both a disabled veteran and a small business owner in Warren, OH. As of 22NOV2017 Clubhouse Brewing Company began operations. It is our goal to give back to the veteran community through a three-pronged approach: first we believe in donating a portion of our profits to veterans’ charities, such as yourselves, in an attempt to help veterans who cannot help themselves, Second we will hire veterans exclusively to help veterans help themselves, and finally we will be starting a veterans charity of our own which will focus on business mentoring and job training in the craft beer industry, to help veterans help each other.
After a careful review of local veterans’ nonprofits’ financial documentation, we have decided to donate to your organization for the year 2018. During the week before Christmas we raffled off merchandise to raise money for veterans’ charities, although it was not a life-changing amount of money, hopefully, it is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Since receiving that email, we have formed a great friendship with Zach and his family. They have had a great year and have surpassed their goals. They have supported Veterans’ Outreach in many ways with donations, food drives, hygiene drives, service animal supply drives, and so on. They advertise Veterans’ Outreach with their own business. They do more than we could ever ask! We are so proud to know them, and so humbled by their support and generosity.