Military Service Coalition establishedWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
A new non-profit organization, the Military Service Coalition of Northwest Ohio, is being established to serve members of the military, veterans and their families.
A group of 20-plus local military, veterans, and social organizations formed the collation that is “dedicated to utilizing our collective expertise to help improve the overall quality of life for service members and their immediate families,” according to its mission statement.
The group is awaiting approval of its application for establishment of the Military Service Coalition of Northwest Ohio as a 501c3 non-profit from the Internal Revenue Service.
“We have started a new organization with members working together to serve our military and veterans,” said Dawn Heisler, secretary of the new coalition and director of Heroes in Action, one of the partners supporting it.
“We want to keep adding services that will motivate people who want to donate time to serve our military and veterans,” she said.
Jesse Ruiz will serve as director and Dan Contreras as associate director of the coalition. Both men formerly served in the same positions for Vets U.S., a group of veterans that helped veterans in this region.
“We’re moving forward with the coalition that includes so many people that want to help veterans including Marcy Kaptur (Rep. D-Toledo) who has supported our efforts to establish the coalition,” said Contreras. “We also have several businesses that are offering free services to veterans.”
The committee of members has been meeting for several months planning the establishment of the new coalition, Heisler said. Once approved by the IRS, the coalition will launch its new web site and have a printed brochure available.
Members of the coalition include representatives of the American Red Cross, Lucas County Veteran Services Commission, Ohio Job & Family Services, Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve, and Family Assistance Center of the Ohio National Guard, Toledo VA Outpatient Clinic affiliated with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Toledo Vet Center, and Vets U.S. Other members include Arrowhead Behavioral Health, Assistance Dogs of America, Inc., Body & Sole Massage Therapy and Reflexology Center, Caring Alternatives, Inc., Collins & Associates Accounting and Income Tax Service, Freedom Guest House, with several individual counselors and doctors.
Heroes in Action is a group of volunteers that offer support to military members and their families by sending care packages and Christmas cards to troops serving their country, Heisler said. The group meets the first Thursday of every month and assembled packages Nov. 5 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The group is sponsoring a Chili Cook-off and Concert as a fund-raiser Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Marine Corps League, Lou Diamond/United Steel Workers Hall on Consaul Street in Toledo.
Heroes in Action is a non-denominational military mission program that is staffed by volunteers and totally supported by cash and food donations For more information, go to www.toledocalvary.org/heroes_in_action.
Veterans invited to attend appreciation breakfast
All veterans and current military members are invited to attend the Veterans’ Appreciation Breakfast Nov. 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the SeaGate Center in Downtown Toledo. The free breakfast is hosted by the United Way, Lucas County Board of Commissioners and the Veterans Service Commission.
A number of organizations and vendors serving the military and veterans will have exhibits at the breakfast to inform them about services available in this area.