Journal Entry: Kris Mertins-Elliott, Enterprise Risk Management Officer
Additional Contributing Employee(s): Noah Campbell, Credit Analyst; Christina Rowntree, Universal Banker; Nicole Kurhajec, Retail Manager; Molly Krause, AVP Cash Management; Bill Fliess, Credit Analyst; Melody Kowalczyk, Universal Banker; Colin Hennessey, VP Business Banker; Jody Vollmer, Retail Manager; Sherri Gorecki, Universal Banker
There are many deserving organizations that exist simply due to the kindness and generosity of others. For this year’s Community State Bank #Gift2Giving Employee Gift Program, I chose Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin. I believe that serving in the military, regardless of the branch of service, is one of the most noble and selfless professions one can engage in. However, in modern times, serving for the United States military does not always come with the level of respect and support one might assume.
Many of our US Veterans have fallen on hard times for numerous reasons, whether it be due to financial, medical and/or mental health and substance abuse issues. There are men and women of all ages who, in the line of duty, have suffered physical injuries, and who endure emotional scars, now struggling with their disabilities to try to make a living and have a normal, happy life. Some are lucky enough to have family who have helped support them and get them on their feet. Others aren’t so lucky. Some may have no job, no home and no family to lean on. Some have families of their own but cannot provide them with the basic necessities that we take for granted such as food, clothing and shelter.
Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin (VOW) is non-profit organization that is committed to helping those Veterans who are homeless and at-risk. They offer food, clothing, shelter and other basic needs, as well as services, support groups and programs. One of their most notable programs being the James A. Peterson Veteran Village.
From the VOW:
“Our program is much more than just a shelter for homeless veterans. We bring them into a welcoming, warm environment with all the amenities they need, including a full-sized kitchen, recreation area, showers, bathrooms, and a laundry room. In addition, they have their own unique tiny home, which has a bed, small storage areas, a microwave, Keurig machine, refrigerator, and a television. A large part of the program is working closely with each resident to bring all the tools necessary for success and well-being. These tools include group therapy for PTSD and AODA, assistance with work search, Veterans benefit search, financial advice and guidance, and housing placement. We also offer alternative classes from cooking to yoga to art therapy. We want each Veteran to have a well-rounded experience so they may grow and adapt.”
Last month, shortly after CSB announced that we would be continuing our #Gift2Giving program for 2019, a story was published in a local newspaper stating that several Racine County nonprofits will be affected from reduced or cut funding in the 2020 Racine County budget. One of those non-profits is the VOW, as they were cut out of the 2020 proposed budget.
I decided to send a plea to my fellow coworkers, hoping to find some who had not dedicated their gifts yet. I was fortunate to find 8 others who had not and one who is contributing their own personal funds.
We all have family members and friends who have served our military and this donation is just one small way for us to say “thank you” by supporting their brothers and sisters who aren’t as fortunate as they have been.
To make a personal donation donation and/or volunteering information, please visit their website at: vetsoutreachwi.us
“Be a Hero to a Hero!”
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