Dear Volunteers,

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? Appropriately, our annual Volunteer Recognition Event is Saturday, April 13 in Clare, Michigan, and I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you then. It promises to be a wonderful evening. In addition to a fine program, the door prizes this year are numerous and quite impressive!    

Every year, Americans volunteer nearly 8 billion hours to make our country and the world a better place. Thank you for what you do for our veterans and service members through Buddy-to-Buddy. When I reflect on the over 5,500 service members and veterans that have been helped by you since B2B began 10 years ago, volunteers, I also think about the lives of the spouses, children, friends, and communities that you have also had a positive effect on.
I hope you also find your work rewarding, too. From time to time it can be helpful to remind ourselves why what we do is important. I invite you to reflect on what a mother of a veteran shared about the impact a B2B volunteer had on her son:

“They met, and he went from being an angry, raging, unhappy person to truly believing that trust and love were still viable avenues for him. It had nothing to do with justice, but everything to do with compassion and an offer of help that was sincere. I don’t think that anyone could have helped him had they not been able to relate to what it’s like to be a soldier who is no longer serving.”

We continue to build our outreach efforts both within armories and units and in the broader community. This month I challenge you to be that outreach effort in your daily life. The next time you see that unit ball cap or spend time with friends and family, let them know there is a free, confidential peer support program for veterans and service members and let them know how to reach out. I look forward to hearing your stories!

Bill Bryan
Program Manager
Stories from the Field:   Ron Springer and Cliff Tholen Team Up to Help a Soldier Get a Great New Job
Thanks to Buddy-to-Buddy volunteers Ron Springer and Cliff Tholen, an Army soldier was able to find a new, better job that accommodated their military responsibilities.
 
To read the story of how Ron and Cliff worked together to help a young soldier, click here .

Buddy-to-Buddy is fortunate to have Ron and Cliff on the team!  
Ron Springer
Cliff Tholen
New Volunteers
We are thrilled to welcome these new volunteers to our team this month!
Samantha Burdette
Navy Veteran, Belleville
John Esser
Army Veteran, South Lyon
Scott Gorland
Marine Corps Veteran, Ann Arbor
Fred Honerkamp
Army Veteran, Midland
Janis Hunter-Paulk
Marine Corps Veteran, Ypsilanti
Phil Sibbald
Army & Navy Veteran, Sault Ste. Marie
Michael Van Setters
Army Veteran, Lansing
Buddy-to-Buddy Featured in New "This Is Michigan" Video
Buddy-to-Buddy was featured in a new Michigan Impact video and story for its “This Is Michigan: Stories of Our State” series. Multiple program volunteers and staff were interviewed and included in the video. Special thanks goes to volunteers Bianca Racine, Bruce Spiher, and Josh Moschino for doing a fantastic job being interviewed for the video! To watch the video and read the story, click here .
Month in Review | February 2019
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 37

Concerns identified:
Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 37
Gino DeTone - 14
Steve Alguire - 11
Ron Springer - 8
Jake Witherspoon - 8
Christian Baeumler - 5
Cliff Tholen - 5

Number of drill/outreach events attended: 35

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Cliff Tholen - 4
Ron Springer - 2
James Robinson - 2
Wilson Coomer - 2
Thank you for taking the time to submit your logs and using the website to communicate with us. These submissions are key in helping us continue to serve Michigan’s veterans.
This Month's Training Anniversaries
The following volunteers are celebrating their training anniversaries with the program this month: 

One Year
Raymond Brown
Michael Gillette
Michael Godwin

Thank you for your service!
Volunteer Recognition Event on
April 13 in Clare—Please RSVP!
It's not too late to RSVP for the annual Volunteer Recognition Event! We hope that you can all join us, but please RSVP either way by filling out this form in order to help us with the planning.

Because Clare is such a charming, historic town, you might want to consider staying an extra day to see more of what it has to offer! There are so many gems in and near this quaint town that it is hard to list them all, but click here for a few of the must-sees.
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Below are some upcoming events we will be at and are in need of volunteers for:

March
  • Tue., Mar 26: Career.Life.Expo in Kalamazoo 
  • Fri., Mar 29: Veteran Entrepreneurship and Employment Event in Ann Arbor 
  • Sat., Mar 30: Smart Money Forum in Southfield
April
  • Wed., Apr 3-Thu., Apr 4: Michigan Defense Expo in Macomb Township  
  • Wed., Apr 10: North Central Community College Veteran Assistance Fair in Petoskey
  • Sun., Apr 14: Michigan National Guard State Volunteer Workshop in Grand Rapids

May
  • Thu., May 2: Roscommon Veteran Benefits Fair in Roscommon
  • Mon., May 6: Senior and Veterans Expo in Mattawan
  • Fri., May 17-Sat May 18: Purple Heart State Convention in Grayling
  • Sat., May 18: Blessfest in Taylor 
  • Mon., May 27: Memorial Day Veterans Parade in Dearborn

June
  • Thu., Jun 6-Sat Jun 8: VFW State Convention in Flint
  • Wed., Jun 26-Fri Jun 28: DAV State Convention in Mt. Pleasant
  • Thu., Jun 27-Sun Jun 30: American Legion State Conference in Kalamazoo 

July
  • Thu., Jul 18: Veteran Job Fair, Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek 

August
  • Sat., Aug 10: VCAT 9 VetFest in Brighton
  • Mon., Aug 12-Sun Aug 18: UP State Fair in Escanaba 
If you would like to represent Buddy-to-Buddy at any of the events above or some other veteran-focused event in your community, contact Amy Kienast at amkienas@umich.edu or (734) 998-5829.
More Volunteers Needed
Do you know any veterans who would be great B2B volunteers? We need a few more volunteers in the following areas:

  • Adrian
  • Flint
  • Jackson
  • Lansing
  • Midland
  • Monroe
  • Port Huron

If you run across someone who would be a great volunteer, please contact Amy at (734) 998-5829 or amkienas@umich.edu and let her know, or you can have them fill out an application here .  
Counties shown in blue have at least one volunteer residing in them; counties in green have no volunteers.
Schedule a Re-Training
Has it been a while since you went through our New Volunteer Training? A lot has changed. Do you think you might benefit from going through training again? If so, contact us about attending an upcoming training. We continually update our training content and think that any and all volunteers who are interested in refreshing their skills will benefit from going through the new and updated training. We'll provide a free lunch.
Currently, our next two scheduled trainings will be on Saturday, April 27 at Camp Grayling and Friday, May 3 at our office in Ann Arbor. Contact us to schedule a re-training.
Need Any New Program Supplies? Let Us Know!
Are you running low on program materials? Are you unsure about whether the materials you have are the most current versions? If so, please contact Jamie Majer at (734) 998-5825 or jmajer@umich.edu and the supplies you need will be ordered and sent to you as soon as possible.
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Amy Kienast and Fred Turk at the VFW Mid-Winter Conference
Mark Lindke at a suicide prevention training offered by Livewell Community Mental Health in Jackson
(L-R) Volunteers Ross Medos, Pete Raciti, Mark Lindke, and Angel Vallejo at Region VCAT 9's Military Appreciation Hockey Game
Volunteers Ross Medos and Pete Raciti with B2B Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Majer at Region VCAT 9's Military Appreciation Hockey Game
B2B Outreach Coordinator Amy Kienast with volunteers Ross Medos and Mark Lindke at Region VCAT 9's Military Appreciation Hockey Game
Buddy-to-Buddy is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), a portfolio of military and veteran mental health programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center .
Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program
2025 Traverwood Dr., Suite C | Ann Arbor | MI | 48105