Home for the Holidays is Live with a New ADDITIONAL $100,000 Match!
Incredible support from the MACV community is resulting in more than $405,000 already raised to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota through the Home for the Holidays campaign. Sponsored by WCCO, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Standard Heating, and Central Roofing, this campaign generates critically needed funds to flexibly address the needs of Minnesota Veterans.
Between your donations and the generosity shown by donors pledging match gifts, we have already surpassed last year's giving by nearly $50,000. However, MACV is heading into 2021 with a higher demand for services than we have seen in years. Your support gives us faith that we can still bring an end to Veteran homelessness in Minnesota. But we have more news: after meeting our first $100,000 match on Monday, we have ANOTHER $100k match lined up for donors to double the impact your gift makes!
Thank you from the entire team at MACV for an outstanding end to the year. We hope you and your loved ones have a safe, relaxing holiday season.
Local CBS station WCCO, who sponsors the Home for the Holidays campaign benefitting MACV, has covered our work every week by featuring a new story about the current face of Veteran homelessness in Minnesota as an evening news segment on Wednesdays. Check out WCCO's evening news TONIGHT at 5pm for another segment on MACV's work!
Homeless Women Veterans
The latest story released by WCCO's Home for the Holidays campaign premiered on Wednesday, December 16. Homelessness among women Veterans is on the rise as the number of women who are Veterans increase. MACV is committed to supporting this population with their own unique needs. Learn more here.
Street Homelessness in Minneapolis
Greg Langlois was hopeless and homeless, walking the streets of Minneapolis. But the Veteran found purpose — and a place to live — with the help of MACV. WCCO investigates here.
Hotels as a Temporary Solution
Eric B. Williams is a single parent, and one of many Veterans who turned to MACV at one of the darkest times in his life. Find out more about his incredible story here!
Homelessness during COVID-19
This past year, COVID-19 has made it more difficult to engage with Veterans in need, but MACV is committed to continuing to serve their community. Learn about the uphill battle faced by Veterans in need here.
MACV Program Highlight: Employment Services
Employment Case Manager Scot Harris recently highlighted the incredible work done by our Employment Services staff over the past few months. Case managers converted their services to MACV’s remote work model in record time this March, hosting and even expanded the webinars and resume workshops offered in a virtual format over the next few months. Starting with one workshop focused on resumes, MACV now offers virtual trainings on three topics: resumes, USAJobs website navigation, and phone/video interview techniques. Staff is even developing a fourth training for rollout in 2021.
To illustrate the progress made since March, Harris explains: “[HVRP Administrator/Resume Developer] Bob Anderson has gone from knowing nothing about Zoom to hosting webinars and conducting Zoom meetings with clients to go over resumes. We have participated in the E2020 Virtual Stand Down and other organizations’ virtual events.”
Reaching out to existing supporters and establishing new partnerships is always front of mind for Harris, who notes, “At least one person from the employment team [is] on the weekly Eagles Group Zoom meetings. We have partnered with Minnesota Computers for Schools to get Veterans connected to the internet to work from home or job search.” Staff also regularly attends Bloomington Beyond the Yellow Ribbon meetings and recently earned recognition by the Veterans’ Administration as an outstanding community partner.
Employment services have always required a command of work-related technology, making those who work in the field especially savvy in bridging the digital divide. MACV’s Employment Services staff noted access issues for low-income Veterans created by reduced public capacity to host computer labs. In response, MACV started operating a mobile computer lab so staff can assist Veterans filling out job applications or benefits eligibility assessments, as well as e-signatures for MACV documents.
“We have been working to get computer workstations in the transitional houses and even got a commitment from the Bloomington Beyond the Yellow Ribbon to help fund the workstation in our Bloomington house,” Harris explains.
Ending Veteran homelessness is impossible without connecting Veterans who can work with living wage-paying jobs. The Employment Services team finds themselves as busy as ever with their core responsibilities, which is getting MACV Veterans employment-ready and set up for success. Harris and the rest of the Employment Services staff take the responsibility to ensure Veterans’ long-term stability as seriously as any of our housing case managers working to get unsheltered Veterans off the streets.
You never know: the next person applying for a job where you work could be a MACV Veteran! Want to find out more? Visit www.mac-v.org.
Case Manager Highlight: Shane Rubel
MACV could not fulfill our mission without the support and cooperation of community partners throughout the state. A story recently shared by case manager Shane Rubel illustrated this reality perfectly, with three different agencies collaborating to assist a Veteran in crisis.
A few weeks ago, one of Minnesota’s County Veteran Services Officers (CVSOs) contacted Shane about a Veteran in need. The Veteran, a widowed female, developed COVID-19 while working at a restaurant several months ago. Unable to work for weeks and then coming back at a reduced capacity during her recovery, she had fallen behind on her bills.
Even though she owned her house, Ruth* was unable to pay for expenses like utilities, power, and cell phone service, putting her personal safety at risk as the weather cooled. She first reached out to the CVSO after her power was turned off. Fortunately for Ruth, the CVSO immediately knew who to call for help getting her back on her feet: Shane Rubel at MACV.
Shane and the CVSO collaborated on a plan for the CVSO to apply for a COVID-19 relief grant to cover costs not covered by MACV such as cell phone service. Shane submitted a request for MACV to provide financial assistance to pay for Ruth's overdue power bills, allowing her to then use her own wages to pay off the overdue utilities.
The County Veteran Services office was essential in getting the information and paperwork needed for Shane to fulfill his part of the plan. “I know these guys pretty well, and [the CVSO] got me all the paperwork I needed, and knew exactly what I required,” explains Shane.
The third partner in getting Ruth’s power back on was an employee at the local power company who processed the paperwork and pulled some strings to get a crew over to the Veteran’s house within a day of receiving the paperwork. “She really understood the urgency,” Shane remarks, noting that starting with Shane’s initial engagement with the CVSO, getting the client’s power back on took approximately three days.
Such effective cooperation between the three providers shows how critical professional relationships and networks are in social services. In this case, collaboration between an electric company, government worker, and nonprofit ended nearly a month of living without power in her home and allowed her to get back on solid footing after a hard summer. Great teamwork, everyone!
*Name changed to protect confidentiality
Eagle Group Virtual Job Meeting: Tuesdays (weekly), 5pm -Join Online
WCCO Home for the Holidays: Every Wednesday, 6pm Channel 4 - Stream Live
El Dorado Bar in Duluth has shown MACV consistent support since December 2010. Following the end of a local community project, El Dorado Bar owner Todd Pfeffer and local "leatherneck" U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Walt Stafford decided to shift their meat raffle event from benefitting a community park to local homeless Veterans. The pair decided to select MACV as the benefactor. Originally managed by the USMC Leathernecks, other local Veterans have since taken leadership in operating the fundraiser. Many collaborators are also members of the Northland Vietnam Veterans Association (NVVA).
Over the years, the annual fundraiser evolved to include a weekly meat raffle along with several Coach purse bingo nights, turkey bingo around the holidays, and an annual Veteran and customer appreciation pig roast in August. These events raise $25,000 per year, with all proceeds donated to MACV and the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund to help homeless Veterans in the Twin Ports area of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.
“Without the local community support this would not be the success it has been!” says Bob Woods, local Marine Veteran and NVVA member. MACV is greatly appreciative of the ongoing community support from El Dorado customers. Thank you, and we wish you all a great end to 2020!
Updates at MACV's Transitional Home in North St. Paul
Thanks to the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Bloomington chapter for upgrading the technology available to residents in our North St. Paul transitional home!
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Chaska
Our partners at Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Chaska awarded MACV $8,000 in late November for a MACV-managed property in Chaska. We are so grateful for our partnership with this group of committed supporters, and thank you for your generosity!
The Target Foundation has given over $65,000 to MACV in the course of 2020, $50,000 of which arrived in late November. This group has supported MACV for a number of years, and is transitioning their funding focus to more closely align with what MACV does. We can't wait to see what 2021 brings with this generous funder!
Tee It Up for the Troops
Longtime MACV supporter Tee It Up for the Troops Golden Valley has contributed a match donation of $11,600 for WCCO's Home for the Holidays campaign. This Veteran-led foundation hosts golf events across the United States to support Veteran service organizations. We cannot say enough about the generosity of this group and their commitment to MACV's cause!
Cargill supports MACV's mission in a variety of ways, from employee-generated giving to financial contributions for our fundraising campaigns and program grants. This year, MACV benefitted from a $20,000 match grant offered by Cargill which our individual donors quickly matched and surpassed! Thank you, Cargill, for your generosity and innovative responses to MACV's need for funds.
3M Foundation stepped forward with a $5,000 match donation as part of WCCO's Home for the Holidays campaign. Our supporters quickly matched this gift, turning $5,000 into $10,000 for MACV Veterans across Minnesota. They also donated brushes and lint rollers for Veterans living in our partner hotels during the holiday season. Thank you for thinking outside the box to support Veterans, 3M!
Wells Fargo does so much to support MACV, from corporate giving to Foundation grant awards and employee matches for their donations to MACV. Upon pledging a $5,000 match donation for the WCCO Home for the Holidays campaign, our supporters stepped up to meet the challenge by December 6. On top of three grants awarded from the Foundation arm, we have received over $80,000 from Wells Fargo in 2020. Thank you!
Success Computer Consulting
On top of providing outstanding service to MACV with IT support, Success donated a $5,000 match challenge for WCCO's Home for the Holidays campaign, which our amazing donors quickly matched by November 27. Thanks for supporting MACV's success with your generosity, Success!
Stillwater Eagles Chapter 94
This outstanding donor contributed a $5,000 match donation for our Give to the Max Day campaign. Doubling the impact of gifts submitted that day through GiveMN, we were able to raise over $85,000 to support Veterans in need across Minnesota with flexible funds. Thank you for such a generous donation, Chapter 94!
Elks Lodge Chapter 44 (Minneapolis)
Minneapolis Elks is a Patriotic Lodge offering volunteer time, community support, scholarships, funding grants, summer youth camps, family friendly entertainment, and much more. Their $5,000 match for Give to the Max Day significantly contributed to our record-breaking fundraising from this campaign. Thank you for supporting Veterans with your generous contribution!
Thank You to Last Month's Donors
Annual Gifts over $50,000
Wells Fargo Foundation
Minnesota Masonic Charities
Otto Bremer Trust
Leonard J. Mikulay Foundation
Gifts over $5,000
Judith & Buzz Kleinman Household
Virginia Sharp Household
Comcast Twin Cities
Bill Klein Household
Stillwater Eagles 94
Gifts over $1,000
Kim Solseth Household
Brian Peterson & Lisa Novack Household
Kimberly Foley Household
Anoka County Credit Union
Gifts over $1,000
Sue & Kevin Johnson Household
Jerome J. and Ursula Choromanski Family Foundation
J. Richard Bland Household
Elks Lodge 44
VFW Auxiliary Post 1914
Barbara J. Foss Household
Sandy Grain Household
Dennis Ulrich Household
Ronald & Bonnie Loidolt Household
Marilou & Mark Cheple Household
Patricia Poziembo household
Thomas Weeks Household
General Mills Foundation
Paul T. Anderson Household
Robin Ryan Household
Joseph Durda Foundation
McKay Family Fund
Sue and Kevin Johnson Household
Jermayne Kuss Household
Carmen Hansen Household
Steven London Household
Holly Copeland Household
Doug and Julie Parry Household
Jan Jagerson Household
William J. Exworthy Household
Emory Blackstone Household
Kathryn Meyer Household
Jay Danielowski Household
Janice Borgstrom-Durst Household
You Can Help End Veteran Homelessness
Our team is working hard to stabilize Veterans without a place to shelter.
As you know, every day, hundreds of Minnesota Veterans and their families do not have a place to call home. Living on the streets, in unsafe or overcrowded living conditions, or asking friends and family to sleep on their couch for one more night, they lack the basic safety and dignity that everyone deserves.