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United Way program aims to help veterans, military families

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal

March 5, 2018

Veterans and military families will be getting a new United Way program to help with integrating into the community. 

The Community Heroes Project is a training program structured to guide service members and their families in further developing the leadership skills they already have and utilizing those skills to address some of the most pressing issues in our community.

The program is designed to serve as a bridge to help veterans and military families reintegrate into their local community through civic engagement, according to the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region.

“We will work as a group to develop a local service project to improve the community in which we live in, while creating a supportive network for the families,” said Community Heroes Project AmerCorps member Emily Sassano. Sassano and her fellow AmeriCorps member Brian O’Keefe will be leading the trainings.

O'Keefe said that all aspects of volunteerism will be covered, “selection of projects, volunteer recruitment, budgeting and fundraising to retention of volunteers.”

The first set of free training sessions will be held on Saturdays, March 17, 24, 31, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Dutchess Community College. Space is limited so everyone is encouraged to sign up now to ensure their space. Go to www.uwdor.org for more information and to sign up for the training course.

All participants who complete the 10 hour training will earn a Volunteer Leader Certification and will be equipped with the skills they need to organize their own projects in the future. This program is designed to build a pipeline of diverse, talented and skilled individuals who already have a commitment to serve. 

The Community Heroes Project is a component of United Way's Mission United initiative. This project is a branch of the Frontline Families AmeriCorps Program, a national service program run by Points of Light. 

For more information, go to www.uwdor.org/communityheroesproject or contact Community Heroes Project AmeriCorps Members Brian O'Keefe or bokeefe@uwdor.org) or Emily Sassano (845-471-1900, Ext. 3129 or esassano@uwdor.org).