Dear Volunteers,

It’s seems like every year there’s a slew of new “holidays”—National Donut Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, National Cook for Your Pets Day—the list goes on. I usually do my due diligence and see if there was some legislation actually authorizing these holidays, but I digress.

One such holiday, Make a Difference Day, is just around the corner on October 26. It got me thinking about the tremendous difference you make in the lives of our service members and veterans. This isn’t anecdotal or mere words of encouragement. Dr. Adrienne Lapidos, Clinical Psychologist here at U-M and one of the researchers for our program, recently surveyed program recipients who consented to be interviewed about their experience with Buddy-to-Buddy.
We'll share feedback from these interviews with you soon, but for now, please know that your work has literally changed the lives of those you’ve worked with. Veterans once on the brink of despair and hopelessness talked openly about how what you did through peer support and connection to needed resources made a difference in their lives—often when no one else would even return their calls.

Whenever you feel like you’re hitting a wall or you’re not having an impact, I invite you to remember what people we've helped have said, as well as the words the mother of a veteran helped by one of you shared with us some years back:

“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.”

If you really feel like you’re fresh out of ideas for how to help, talk with your Team Leader or staff members. We’re all here to help veterans and each other.

“Make a Difference Day” isn’t once per year for our service members and veterans thanks to the work you do with Buddy-to-Buddy. Thank you.

Bill Bryan
Program Manager
New Volunteers
We are thrilled to welcome these new volunteers to our team this month!
Bob Bowden
Army Veteran, Martin
Steve Cox
Army Veteran, Detroit
Tim Fliam
Navy Veteran, Swartz Creek
Holli Henry
Air Force Veteran, Decatur
Sam Pickering
Air Force Veteran, Millington
Les Schneider
Air Force Veteran, Durand
Fred Yanotti
Air Force & Navy Veteran, Howell

(not pictured)

Edgar Jones
Navy Veteran, Ann Arbor

Brenda Sible
Navy Veteran, Wyandotte
Month in Review | September 2019
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 55

Concerns identified:
This past month, financial and mental health concerns were the top two issues you handled, with housing and homelessness close behind.

Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 42
Richie Roberts - 25
Steve Alguire - 24
Scott Gorland - 11
Ron Springer - 5
Mark Lindke - 5

Number of drill/outreach events attended:  36

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Mike Gillette - 4
Robert Roberts - 3
Les Schneider - 3

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: 

Nine Years!
Gary Bourdeau
Paul Jingozian
Pete Raciti

Eight Years
Dick Overton

Five Years
Bob Baumstark
Mo De La O

Three Years
Edwin Johnson

Two Years
Richard Dallas
Betty Hendricks

Thank you for your service!
Fundraiser Dinner on November 9 in Ann Arbor
The Ann Arbor-Fraternity Lodge No. 262 , a Masonic Lodge of Freemasons located in Ann Arbor, is hosting a fundraiser dinner on behalf of Buddy-to-Buddy on Saturday, November 9 at 6 pm. It will be held at the VFW Hall located at 3230 South Wagner Rd., Ann Arbor, 48103. All proceeds from it will be donated to Buddy-to-Buddy. The event will feature a dinner, silent auction, beer pull, and music. Tickets are $10-39. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here . We hope you will join us for this special evening! 
Brush Up On Your Skills By Retraining
Has it been a while since you went through New Volunteer Training? A lot has changed. Do you think you might benefit from going through it again? If so, we have two great options for brushing up on your skills: an online recorded webinar or in-person training.

Retraining Webinar: If it’s been three years or more since you went through our volunteer training, please watch the recording of our recent Retraining Webinar here . The entire webinar is just over an hour long. Before you watch the webinar, please take the pre-training mental health and suicide survey  here . After watching the webinar, please take the post-training mental health and suicide survey as well as the general training survey  here  and  here , respectively.
In-Person Training: You can retrain by attending an upcoming New Volunteer Training. We offer these on a near-monthly basis either at our office in Ann Arbor or at various sites throughout the state. Free lunch provided! Currently, our next scheduled in-person training will be on Tuesday, October 22 at our office in Ann Arbor . Contact us to schedule an In-Person Training. 
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Below are some upcoming events where we need volunteer coverage:

  • Sat., Nov 2: 2019 Female Veteran Stand Down in Dearborn 
  • Thu., Nov 7: Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Lapeer 
  • Last Mondays of the Month, Warriors to Work in Detroit
  • Wednesdays, Warrior Wednesdays in Detroit  

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 or (734) 998-5829.
Talking Points Cheat Sheet
If you are invited to attend an event and have been asked to give a brief presentation about Buddy-to-Buddy, or you are in need of a cheat sheet when you are at event tables, please reach out to Amy ( ) for a Talking Points Cheat Sheet . It includes some key points about B2B and about the new volunteer training sessions. 
More Volunteers Needed
Do you know anyone who would be a great B2B Volunteer? Requests for assistance from Buddy-to-Buddy are increasing and we need more volunteers in these locations:
Ann Arbor
Bad Axe
Battle Creek
Berrien Springs
Downriver (Wyandotte, Riverview, Trenton)
If you run across someone who would be a great volunteer, please contact Amy at (734) 998-5829 or and let her know, or you can have them fill out an application  here .  
Monday Support Calls
We ask that all volunteers participate in at least 2 of the weekly support calls each month to learn about program updates, discuss cases, and listen to resource speakers sharing information about programs that can assist veterans in Michigan. The calls start at 5 pm and the new call-in number is 1.888.240.2560. Enter the code 595131222# and announce yourself if prior to the speaker starting. If the speaker has started talking, then please announce yourself at the end of the call. 
Collecting Info about Veterans Day Events & Holiday Help for Service Members and Veterans
Veterans Day is less than a month away!   Please forward any Veterans Day events and discounts to Amy at so she can start a compiling a list that she'll later share with you.

Many organizations have special programs around the holidays to provide meals and gifts to military and veteran families. Quite often applications for these programs have to be submitted by early fall for a family to ask for assistance. If you know of any organizations offering these special holiday programs, please send that info to Amy at so she can compile a resource list.
Attention, Snowbirds!
Do you head south during the colder months to stay warm? If so, be sure to alert your Team Leader to let them know the dates you will be gone so staff can put you on a hiatus status during your absence. 
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 and the supplies you need will be ordered and sent to you as soon as possible.
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Volunteer Don Paone showing his artwork at the recent Veterans Inspirational Art Show in Traverse City.
Bill Bryan presenting about B2B at an Ann Arbor Jaycees meeting.
Bill Bryan and his wife Kim at the baby shower Buddy-to-Buddy and M-SPAN staff hosted for them.
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