As I sit back and reflect on what Patriots and Paws has done in this past year, I am amazed at the support we received from our community.
As of Saturday, December 12, we helped as many Veterans as we did last year (954), and we have 6 more give away days to reach our goal of providing basic, practical home furnishings to 1,000 of those who give us the freedom we have today.
So many of our veterans lack even the most simple things like beds, a dining room table, a couch, dishes, things so many of us take for granted. It always tears me to my core when I hear, “I didn’t think anyone cared”, because I know there are plenty of us that do. As a support of Patriots and Paws, I know you do.
I believe we will exceed 17,000 volunteers hours by the years end. Last year we did over 12,500 hours. We are still an ALL-Volunteer organization.
This year we did over 900 pick-ups of donations from the public. This year was much easier because we had a truck donated by Mess Hall Canteen, who also donates their monthly tips to us, and because of American Legion Post 327 and Auxiliary, Leisure World who donated fuel cards to us.
One of the families we helped was Matthew a single father and his 6 kids (1 a special needs child) with beds, a dining room table and even a sewing machine, basic items so many of us take for granted.
Our financial support is slowly growing, we are now working with companies such as Boeing and Pacific Life Foundation that are matching their employee’s donations, and the employees are asking their employers to do this.
We have to thank American Legion Post 133, American Legion Post 466, American Legion Rider #132, Anaheim/OC Visitors & Convention Bureau, BPO Elks Lodge #1075, Buena Park Emblem Club 340, Classic Cruisers North Orange County, First American Title Insurance Company, Goldwing Road Riders Association CAQ Chapter, Knights of Columbus, St. Angela Council 9511, Mission Viejo Rotary, ZeroPointloan.com, Nu-Era Urethane Industries, Inc, OC Community Foundation, Seal Beach Ladies Auxiliary VFW 4048, The Blacksmith Shop, VVA Chapter 1024, Walmart – Huntington Beach, Westcal Mechanical Inc., Westminster Elks Lodge #2346, Women’s Club of Orange, CA, plus all other private donors who help us keep our doors open every month, so we can continue to help our Veterans/Active Duty/Reservists, without all of them we couldn’t do what we do.
Along with those listed, we have other foundations that are seeing the amazing work we are doing supporting us financially. We have families that are sending us donations in memory of their family members.
We are working with about 75 agencies that send their clients to us to help them begin in a new home, give them dignity to pick out the items they like. We can do that only because of our supporters.
I would like to see our goal next year be 1200 Veterans/Active Duty/Reservists that we help. We have so much we want to do.
We did another collection of underwear, socks, t-shirts and sports bras for one of our local Stand Downs to give away to our homeless Veterans.
With the help of American Legion Post 327 and Auxiliary, Leisure World and the Home Depot/Konica Minolta employees along with a couple of the local Biola University and Cal State University Fullerton students and others, we did another Holiday Dinner Bag give away, providing the ingredients of a traditional Turkey Dinner.
With the surprise donation of 13 fresh Christmas trees from Chris Hansen and the Villa Park High School Baseball Team we were able to surprise families when they came in for items.
Then we have folks like Randy of Operation 29:11 who provided us donation of drinks and snacks throughout the year that helps keeps our Volunteers hydrated and gives them energy to keep going.
Plus the unsung Heros who come in and help us volunteer so we can get done what we do.
We had our 1st Annual Golf Tournament, at Yorba Linda County Club; and have already secured a date for next year so mark your calendar. We had our 1st Annual Car Show, at The Chemical Guys, Santa Ana and are already working on our next event. Furthermore, as usual we had our Quarterly Open Houses to invite the community to come in and see what we do first hand.
We will be having our 1st Annual Gala in November 2016 celebrating our 5th Year Anniversary and encourage you to be apart of this.
We also received the award Non-Profit of the Year from Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.
So remember us if you have a last minute tax donation you need to make before December 31st so you get credit for this year, your donations will help us to continue to do the work that we do. It takes a village and you are apart of that village. We are doing, great things, making the world a better place, but we certainly do rely on generous supporters like you.
Patriots and Paws Founder
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