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Help Heal Veterans

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Help Heal Veterans’, formerly Help Hospitalized Veterans, primary mission is to enrich the lives of veterans and military personnel. Healing arts and crafts provide a therapeutic experience for all veterans including those who are hospitalized, in shelters, in convalescent homes and those undergoing therapy for a wide range of physical and mental challenges. Many veterans experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which increase the risk for depression, physical injuries, substance abuse and sleep problems. The kits, provided free of charge to the veteran, become a part of the patient’s treatment plan, giving them a creative outlet along with tangible therapeutic and rehabilitation benefits. They improve fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, memory improvement, anger issues and dexterity as well as decrease the severity of PTSD/TBI triggers including anxiety, memories, sadness and frustration. We work to involve the public in meeting this mission through a broad education outreach program, HHV's therapeutic programs provide a meaningful way for individuals, corporations or other nonprofit organizations to help wounded or disabled veterans, military patients and their families rebuild their lives.

Results: For more than 44 years, Help Heal Veterans has cared for America’s heroes, helping them heal. To date, more than 29 million arts and crafts kits have been given, free of charge, to military service members and U.S. veterans, assisting in their recovery from just about every type of injury. From recuperating active duty service members with wartime injuries, to older veterans coping with illnesses that come with aging, Help Heal Veterans has been there with them as they travel the road to recovery. Arts and crafts provide therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits to patients recuperating from injuries such as amputations, shrapnel wounds, paralysis or traumatic brain injuries. Help Heal Veterans' arts and crafts also provide therapy for veterans suffering from memory loss, stroke or extremity weakness. As projects are completed, they instill a sense of accomplishment, improve self‐esteem, and sometimes even demonstrate unrecognized artistic talents.

Target demographics: veteran and active duty military service members

Direct beneficiaries per year: On average 43,811 individual craft kits were distributed each month. Arts and crafts kits were sent to veterans and active duty military recipients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and Guam. Kits were also sent to veterans and military service members stationed in Germany, South Korea, Indonesia, Canada, and forward to deployed U.S. Navy warships.

Geographic areas served: communities throughout the United States

Programs: Therapeutic materials: see schedule o

veteran assistance and awareness: see schedule o

craft care specialists: see schedule o

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Joe G.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I truly love having the arts and crafts every wed and thurs at my American legion post 509. I have been doing arts n crafts for many years and I enjoy talking to my fellow vets and helping out in any way I can. And are teacher heather is very helpful in teaching any vet that needs help with a project. She is one of a kind to all us vets here in Fresno ca and we all love her for her dedication.
Yours truly....3rd vice commander Joe Galindo ....US Army

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I currently attend the Help Heal veterans in Clovis, ca. This has been a great program and I see many Veterans such as myself getting great satisfaction from the program. The staff is great and always helpful and the items that are donated are great. I really recommend this program and would like to see it expand more

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Help heal Veterans has been a god send to me. Returning from Iraq, I needed something to keep my mind occupied. That's when I came upon HHV in the VA where I attended a creative therapy class. From then on, I started doing crafts as well as other hobbies.
I am now a volunteer for HHV, and have 7 years under my belt. To be honest HHV has giving me a different side to explore. I work with the Best Craft Care Specialist( Katherine Vanasse).
Thank You.
Dalia Cox ( US Army)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Veteran as is my son. My wife is a Craft Care Specialist for Help Heal Veterans. We have all been blessed with what is offered by HHV. The kits have been awesome to put together. I have seen hundreds of Veterans go through the HHV clinic and seen how much this organization means to them. Thank you

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working with Help Heal Veterans for over 30 years. I say working "with", but actually I mean I have been partnering with HHV to assist them in acquiring supplies at well below market prices and whenever possible free. I love their mission and have spread the word to other businesses. There is an extraordinarily high level of care and effort that goes into each kit they produce. For the people I work with, I know they do not think of their time at HHV as a job but as a calling. I look forward to continuing our long term relationship.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They supply craft kit to me, as a home bound veteran this really helps with my care. Also one less thing my care provider (wife) has to shop for.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing, I started volunteering with my company Guild mortgage last year . We also helped with colored pencil donations for their kits. Everyone there is so passionate about what they do to help our veterans . They are amazing people and the benefits are huge . I will continue to volunteer and support in anyway I can . Thank you all for what you do and making a difference .

Alan Jones J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

These crafts mean so much to me and help me with my ptsd and depression and just all around moods

awardsr1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After using the CBC for about 6-7 years in addition to volunteering there, The staff at the Maywood center is the best.

This last year though I have had some very challenging health issues which include a Broken Kneecap, when I go in the staff is always asking about how I am doing and have even called me after surgeries it is refreshing that there are People who still care. Rose, Mia, Dave and Linda always have a warm greeting.
Brothers and Sister Vets Stop in and find something to do with your self there are kits of all kinds from woodworking to leather crafts to models and jewelry, there is something for you there. And if you are unsure of how to there are always the workshops held at least 1-2 or more a month where either a volunteer can help you get it on or else the staff will help you get on the way to complete your own work of art.

Thank you Maywood CBC Staff.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For almost 5 years I have been going to HHV and it was through them that I learned that I was an artist. Rose and Mia convinced me that I not only built things, I am a woodworker before but that I could use the kits and see more than the simple kit by combining the things and adding my own twist.
I have used the kits as inspiration for many projects that many say are both unique and beautiful, and have won awards at the VA Art Fairs.
I have for 4 years now been a volunteer at both the Berwyn, and the Maywood CBC. and Look forward to going in to help my fellow veterans do many various things as we hold craft workshops every month and I am considered somewhat of the expert on woodworking and Model making.
These sessions bring a sense of accomplishment to me to help veterans some of whom I do not know start or finish or just lend a spare hand or ear to make there day a little brighter.
So if you are looking for a place that makes a difference in the Lives of the veterans community stop looking this is it. And thanks Mia and Rose for showing me that even though I can NOT draw a straight line with a ruler I can be an artist.

I the photos below are of things that I built.
The first is a tribute to the Maywood CBC when we moved from Berwyn, it is a sign-in and photo board that my neighbor who also volunteers and I built of Oak. The clock you see is based upon 1 of the kits available at Help Heal Vets but is completely Handmade of oak and embellished with the seals of the branches of service, it has a Westminster chiming movement. The three soldiers statue is just Painted in many colors and it takes on a life of it"s own. I have completed a few of these for a few Veterans and there are no 2 that the colors look the same just whatever I feel at that minute, I use as many as 8-9 different shades of green to give the uniforms a sense of having been worn in the NAM. The last photo is one of the first true artistic pieces I did I combined 2 different kits that I modified to make what you se an Eagle in a Tray that Hangs on my wall.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

i have been a Craft Care Specialist with HHV for almost five years. I am so grateful for this job and the work that I do. Every day when I go to work I know that the day will offer me an opportunity to help a Veteran who has served our country. Everyday I go to work someone expresseses their gratitude for the therapudic craft kits that they receive. Everyday I hear stories of how these kits help strengthen the Veterans confidence or peace of mind, or just simply makes them feel better. It is a wonderful organization, which serves our Verteran community in a unique way.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Recreation Therapist at the California Veterans Home. We get at least 2 shipments per year of craft kits from HHV. Our residents really enjoy all of the kits that come to the Home. We have bird houses and bird feeders throughout the facility. We have the healthiest birds in the San Joaquin Valley due to your craft kits. We have several gentleman who wait for us to bring out new stuff so they can be the first ones to get them done. Both male and female veterans really enjoyed making the bracelets were very impressed with the variety and the quality of the supplies available for these projects. Our HHV Rep Heather Ritchie is a favorite person at our facility. They are very upset if she is not in her spot on Tuesdays Mornings so that they can their weekly project to complete. Thank You Very Much for your support of our Veterans and those that make these wonderful craft kits. They are loved and enjoyed by all levels of care here at our facility in Fresno California.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Vietnam veteran that has been doing Heal Vets arts and crafts for the past 12 years. I enjoy making the craft kits and socializing with other veterans while making the craft kits. The atmosphere is peaceful and the Heal Vet staff and volunteers are pleasant and helpful. I will continue to look forward to attending Arts and Crafts groups, it is very good for my well being and helps with my social skills.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My father spent the spring in a rehab center recovering from a very bad accident. He was offered a leather pouch kit by the staff and was absolutely delighted to have something to do while he was confined to his bed. He ended up making a pouch, a wallet, and a wood clock. I feel like the kits really helped pass the time for him and prevented him from being so bored and depressed. He was so happy to have little gifts to present to visitors to the rehab center. Our whole family feels grateful for the kindness and thoughtfulness that led to someone coming up with such a clever idea to donate craft projects to veterans.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Veteran with PTSD, The Arts and Craft kits provide numerous hours of relaxing, creative stimulation. They keep me busy, out of trouble, and are a great grounding technique working with my hands to create. Thank you HHV for you're Service to us Vets!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot thank you enough for this store!! I've been working on these projects for a few years. Very helpful. This non profit is exemplary and helpful. Never met better staff.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Linda served in the Air Force 1978-1992. She was stationed at England Airforce base in Louisiana , Kwang Ju Air station in South Korea, returned to Louisiana. then to West Germany Lindsey Air station and then back to USA, Griffith Airforce Base in New York. Linda Bishop has been living in the Grand Junction since 1992. Linda got her first kit in 1994 while she was at an appointment at the VA Hospital. Linda passed by the craft room and was curious as what was going on. She inquired and selected her first craft kit. Linda has been involved in crafting ever since then. Linda credits her expanded crafting to Help Heal Veterans. She has had the opportunity to put together many of the kits and says it helps her dexterity and keeping her spirits up. She likes to have a craft to look forward putting together. Linda has developed relationships with other Veterans and looks forward to coming into to the store and seeing her peers. Linda states that through HHV she has become more outgoing and has become involved in many community groups.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ernest has been coming to Help Heal Veterans here in Grand Junction since 2006. He reports that he gets distracted from his physical pain by doing the crafts. In 2006 he had sciatic nerve surgery and experiences pain every day. Help Heal Veterans has helped him retrain his brain and keeps him occupied and busy and off the prescription medications. Ernest has been involved in volunteering here at the HHV and recently he has dedicated himself to a permanent shift every week. Ernest has been involved in teaching other Veterans some of the skills needed to complete the leather crafts. Ernest reports that without HHV he would have very little to occupy his time. He looks forward to assisting in clinics at nursing homes and assisted living through our outreach efforts. Ernest is attempting to organize and locate a space to gather with other Veterans to assemble and create the therapeutic craft kits.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am not very skilled at this computer operations, but I would take this moment to inform you how very important these different craft kits are to me personally. I have had over 40 different surgeries over the years and working on these projects help me to deal with the pain as I heal. I started doing leather crafts at the age of nine but due to injuries to my hands and eyes and rheumatoid arthritis, completing leather projects became very difficult. Although I have these difficulties, the projects I receive from this organization have been easy and enjoyable to complete. Friends and family benefit when they get a new wallet, purse, clock; etc.

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

Cindy is a Navy Veteran that served from 1986-1988.She was stationed in Virginia. Cindy enjoys doing the craft kits that Help Heal Veterans provides her. She has been doing crafts kits for the past two years. Cindy has completed several baskets recently. Cindy reports that doing the crafts kit helps her with her eye hand coordination. She enjoys the crafts kits so much and displays all her finished projects in her cabinet at home.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

HELP HEAL VETERANS is an amazing organization with awesome staff like Rose in Chicago, who is genuine and passionate about veterans and their wellness! It was an honor to also meet the Board of Directors when they toured Chicago. Each of them were very devoted to the work of Help Heal Veterans and that is significant to veterans that they encounter.

It means a lot to me because all of them were not veterans and as a Vietnam Era Army Veteran, I think it is important to also recognize and salute those who have a caring heart to volunteer their time and resources and who have an understanding of the veterans who need us the most. I also loved doing the purse craft. It allowed me the time I needed to just be still and focus on one thing! It was truly therapeutic and self care for me.

As the President and Founder of the National Women Veterans United (NWVU), we are thankful to Help Heal Veterans for providing the crafts that we offer to the military women veterans who we serve. Most of these women are homeless, at risk or in need of peer support. Our military women veteran members also take advantage of the crafts and even involved our adopted Girl Scout troop to help us. It was great getting the military branch crafts also in which we use for decorations in the Women Veteran's Center. THANK YOU HELP HEAL VETERANS!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a veteran. I visit the store in Maywood Il. Manager Rose , Dave and the crew always treat me nice and welcome others with a smile and help us with projects and kits. They are very helpful with know how and service. Thank God their work and kindness. The kits help me to stay focused and relaxed when I'm putting them together. Thank God for Help Heal Veterans organization.