The membership of Chapter 522 is committed to helping veterans regardless of when they served, where they served, or their life histories. To that end, we support a number of special programs to assist veterans with financial, medical, and personal needs. It is our firm belief that making life better for this segment of the population will benefit everyone in some meaningful and lasting way.
Listed below are some of the programs that we currently support for local veterans:
1. We are a willing partner with Pinellas County and Pasco County to provide assistance to homeless veterans. We have donated money, clothing, personal items, and batteries. We have provided knowledge assistance in obtaining DD-214s, specialists who are able to provide assistance for medical care, and individual counseling. There are many challenges with this type of effort, but the rewards far outweigh the obstacles that must be overcome.
2. Chapter 522 continues to maintain a strong working relationship with the Vet Center in St. Petersburg. The Vet Center has provided financial assistance and counseling to needy veterans for many years. We rely on the expertise of the staff at the Vet Center to make proper determinations regarding financial assistance. We provide financial assistance when requested by the Vet Center. In order to maintain individual privacy, all of these donations are basically “John Doe” types of assistance.
3. We have another program with the Vet Center to help veterans during Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. We provide financial assistance in the form of $25.00 gift certificates to purchase food from local supermarkets for veterans and their families. Again, we rely on the staff at the Vet Center to identify and disburse these funds to the most needy veterans.
4. Chapter 522 has made several one-time donations to the VA Medical Centers at Bay Pines and in Tampa for special programs (e.g., the Fisher House, and for the rehabilitation of handicapped veterans). Our members have also assisted in identifying resources to help veterans find specialized equipment to deal with disabilities.
5. Chapter 522 has made donations to support programs and special events for veterans who are incarcerated in Florida facilities.