Veterans on A Mission to Help the Most Vulnerable
On Saturday, October 17, 2015 more than 150 newly recruited veteran fellows with The Mission Continues showed up with their supporters to improve the Volunteers of America Texas treatment facility on Avenue J. Together, more than 200 strong, the volunteers set in to do their third and largest service project with VOA Texas. However, the group announced that it will not stop at what was done Saturday; a local platoon has committed to at least a year of service at Avenue J, with their next project on November 7 for the Veterans' Day holiday.
The Mission Continues is a non-profit group dedicated to mobilizing veterans to volunteer in their local communities. Each veteran chooses a platoon in their community to volunteer with, and each platoon decides on a focus area in which to dedicate their efforts.
After a conference in Dallas to initiate the new fellows from throughout the country, a combat veteran motorcycle group escorted three buses of veterans to Avenue J to work on several projects. Joining the teams were additional volunteers from Lockheed Martin and Southwest Airlines. After securing donations for the majority of the materials the teams: painted the inside and outside of the Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together (MINT) building; painted the cafeteria, community room and classroom; built picnic tables, raised garden beds, benches, chairs, and a fire pit; hung a shade structure; created an improved exercise area and walking track; and set up a new computer lab with donated computers and bookshelves they built.
In a briefing with the veterans before the project The Mission Continues talked to the volunteers about our program. They expressed that there is a connection that they can find with our clients. They understand living with a stigma, and that our clients live with one as well.
Many of our clients and staff joined the veterans to improve Avenue J. Back for her first major volunteer experience since her stroke, Mary Spurlock welcomed the volunteers and made sure they were hydrated and had snacks.
We thank all of veterans with The Mission Continues, and all of the volunteers and staff for their hard work at Avenue J. We look forward to The Mission Continues continuing to support Avenue J.