Valentines for Our Homeless Vets
Around a month ago, my friend LeighAnn told me about a plan she had to bring Valentines to homeless veterans in Lorain County. I asked if I could help. Today, thanks to the hard work big hearts of so many children at my old school (where I taught for 24 years), we were able to give out five boxes full of Valentines to 29 homeless veterans in Lorain County
I spent one day last week with the kids as they made the Valentines. When one of teachers told her second graders that there are homeless veterans one girl raised her hand and said, 'After all they have done for us? That is just wrong!' She couldn't be more right.
The kids wanted to do more than just make cards so they started doing chores at home to raise money to buy gift cards for the homeless vets. These kids' big hearts filled me with hope for the future.
Today, Leah Ann and I went to deliver the Valentines to the vets at the Valor Home in Lorain. We met with 29 vets. I told them that we did this and the children did this to remind them that they are loved, appreciated and not forgotten. I told them that I am running for Congress, for so many reasons but mainly because those in Washington have forgotten the little guy.
We passed out the bags, the valentines and the gift cards. The men were overwhelmed. One man even teared up.
I went to each table and sat with small groups of vets and ask them, 'What do you want me to know?' Here are the things they said: We need mass transit so that poor people can get to jobs. We need our roads to be fixed. We need affordable housing. One man told me that he had diabetes and it was tough to find healthy food to eat.
One man sat back and listened until the end and then he offered to tell me his story. He has a job and earns minimum wage. He makes $700 a month. His wages are garnered for child support which is $650 a month. They take half of his wages and month by month the rest adds up. Even with working, he's stuck in a cycle of poverty.
While, organizations like Valor Home are doing wonderful work to help provide for these homeless veterans, it's clear that we are failing patriots who served out country. We have got to invest less in new wars and more in caring for our vets (and in diplomacy to keep us out of new wars!)
My visit with these vets will stay with me the rest of my life and reaffirm the reason I'm running for office. Spread some love today and Happy Valentines Day to all. Onward!
This statement has been edited to reflect that Valor Home indeed offers a diabetic menu.