Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, Recipient

Glen woke up freezing cold as snow drifted down on him. He’d been sleeping on a street by a lakefront in Racine, Wisconsin. This wasn’t the first time he woke up in the snow or rain, but this particular morning, all he could think was, “What am I doing to myself?” He felt that if he didn’t make some changes, it would soon be too late. After entering a local shelter, the staff learned that Glen was a veteran and referred him to Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin (VOW). The organization provides everything from housing to groceries to funds for counseling for veterans. Water bottles for fundraising play a small part in helping VOW fulfill its mission. Helping heroes turn over a new leaf Glen moved into one of the tiny homes on campus at VOW. Veterans can live there for up to two years completely free of charge. VOW pays for food, utilities, housing supplies and other necessities. This gives veterans the chance to save their money and build a life for themselves. Man holding a water bottle imprinted with a logo. During his time at VOW, Glen got sober, landed a job, earned his driver’s license back, bought a car and paid off his debts. He stayed with VOW the full two years and recently moved into an apartment, which he furnished with the money he saved while living at VOW. Glen is adamant that if he had stayed on the streets and not found VOW, he wouldn’t be alive. His life has come full circle, as Glen will now be a guest speaker at a banquet hosted by VOW. How water bottles for fundraising help reach more people In addition to providing on-campus housing, VOW also serves off-campus veterans and their families with a food pantry that’s unlike any other. Rather than waiting in line to receive a box of food, people “shop” for their own groceries. VOW believes personal dignity is essential for helping veterans. The organization serves about 450 veteran families through the food pantry and is also expanding to provide mental health services to all veterans (not just those living on campus). To help with its fundraising efforts, VOW showcases two tiny home demonstration models at events. While these demonstrations are an effective way to attract people, staff wanted something more. Thanks to a 4imprint one by one® grant, VOW ordered water bottles. “Free things work well for attracting people to our demonstration. People are happy to take a water bottle and talk to us. We can more easily get them inside the tiny home and show them around. And the water bottles are like free advertising because they have our logo and phone number on them,” said Kerry Milkie, director of development.

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