Chapter 522 has a long and documented history of members participating in programs that strengthen and enhance our community. The activities we support are quite diverse. We operate on many different levels, and each activity requires a unique combination of financial resources and manpower. The best way to summarize our chapter’s role in community service activities is by looking at two specific areas - financial support and volunteer/sweat-equity support. Following is a short summary of the important activities for each category.
Financial Support: Chapter 522 has made several important donations or gifts that we feel enhance our local community. Among them are:
1. $1,000 scholarships to deserving seniors who graduated from high schools in Pinellas County and who subsequently enrolled in college degree-oriented programs. A total of 12 scholarships have been awarded over the years.
2. Donations to Make-A-Difference to further their programs that support children with special needs.
3. Chapter 522, in partnership with VFW Post 4256, has been providing lunches to veterans from Bay Pines VA Medical Center once a month through the Veterans Luncheon program. This program continues to be extremely popular with these veterans.
Volunteer/Sweat-Equity Support: Our members have contributed a great deal of their personal time and labor directly toward the improvement of our community. Each year we record a significant number of volunteer hours supporting veterans and other types of community programs. Some of the notable efforts include:
1. Members have volunteered their time to support the Make-A-Difference Fishing Tournaments held in Clearwater and Largo each year for children with special needs.
2. Several members have volunteered their time at Bay Pines VA Medical Center and off-site clinics doing a variety of tasks that assist the medical staff. Some of our members also support the PVA and their programs.
3. Members of Chapter 522 have volunteered their time in support of Sailability in Clearwater. This program provides the opportunity for handicap people to be the captain of their own sailboat, thus experiencing the thrill of boating. Many of the participants are disabled veterans.
4. Members have volunteered their time (with financial support for materials from Chapter 522) to make home improvements for handicap persons. Some of these efforts are directed specifically for the handicap veterans who are members of Chapter 522.