Posted on Feb 28, 2020
Thanks to a great team of groups and programs our club has recently engaged in a very worthwhile endeavor!  Project Welcome Home Wish list is part of the projects of Rotary District 7475 - formerly started by Rotary District 7470 clubs 50 Rotary Clubs)
 
     The program helps formerly homeless veterans get back on their feet, by providing them with the basics such as having the basic  household items in this day and age.   Our team goes out and shops for the list  we are given from these graduating veterans down to the forks and knives, and then delivers them directly to the newly homed vets.  So far this year alone over 30 formerly homeless vets have been assisted by the program which is district wide in Rotary District 7475.
     To explain this program in simple terms - through various methods and for various reasons the homeless veteran enrolls in a program called Hope for Veterans  at the Lyons VA Campus in Basking Ridge.  They complete a program that helps them with the basics, finding employment, getting a home, addressing physical, or mental issues that they may be facing.  Upon completion they find a regular place of residence in which they merely have the place of residence.  Many of the apartments we deliver to have nothing, bare floors, walls, kitchen cabinets, etc.  However it is far better than living on the street.  This is where Rotary's participation begins.  We solicit a wish list through Hope for Veterans created by the veteran.  They ask for the basics that we often take for granted that normalize daily living, and provide a sense of pride as they are able to restart with a new apartment, new utensils, fixtures, blankets and towels among other items.
    
     Our small project  started in 2013 , quickly grew to become a district wide endeavor in which 50% of our districts clubs have come on board to participate either through shopping, raising, funds, or helping to organize and deliver the items purchased to formerly homeless US Veterans.   To date over $20,000 dollars has been raised and we are continuing in 2019 towards a grant to make sure the program stays adequately funded and our participation can continue. 
       
      It is nice to bring a sense of peace to these deserving vets.  We continue to look for regular revenue sources, additional clubs to participate, and corporate participation.  If you, your group, or your company would like to donate, please contact us for details through our website or by emailing us at rotarydg7470@gmail.com  Also please like and share both our rotary fb page - Rotary Club of Jefferson Twsp./Sparta, and Welcome Home WishcList .