Everyday Heroes

People!  Listen Up!

The Geffen Playhouse hosted a program for Veterans.  Over several months, the vets wrote up and rehearsed dramatic TED Talks style presentations of their many and varied experiences. 

The Geffen offered tickets to this presentation FOR FREE! Our dear friends Toby and Bob alerted us to the event.  We registered for tickets, had dinner at Goran’s DIVINO, and went to the Geffen.  The first sign we were in for a spectacular evening - there was not a vacant seat in the house.

The program was truly great.  Nine incredibly funny and heartfelt stories filling the house and our eyes and ears with love, humor, tragedy, warmth, understanding and irony.

I have to assume you feel like me…no desire to go out at night and brave the choked streets to get to a theatrical presentation only to be presented with something strange and unworthy of the effort.

This is personal theater.  Connected theater.  Connected to veterans in a way that makes you feel close to them, appreciative of them and mostly a part of the whole grand design.  We pay (taxes…) but they serve.  So time spent listening like this brings us inside, up close and personal….

LOOK FOR THIS PROGRAM TO BE REPEATED NEXT YEAR…with new stories presented by new vets…DON’T MISS IT…

~V4V

VA Parade Friday, November 11

As part of its commitment to serving veterans and active duty military personnel and their families, the County of Los Angeles Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will hold the Los Angeles Veterans Day Parade on Friday, Nov 11

 

In addition to honoring service and stimulating public support for veterans and their families in the Greater L.A. region, the Parade will commemorate the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. "America's Parade: LA" will take place November 11th (Veterans Day) on the West L.A. Veterans Affairs Campus, featuring veterans, active duty military personnel, high school and college band members, and supporters of our military. 

 

Stepping off at 11:00 a.m., parade marchers will advance southeast on Bonsall Avenue, passing a grandstand just beyond Wilshire Boulevard before completing a one mile route. The community is invited and encouraged to come out and line the route to show its support and help honor the brave men and women who serve and protect our nation

 

Groups and individuals interested in sponsorship opportunities, participating in the parade or volunteering to work on the parade are urged to visit AmericasParade.org/LA or email sstone@mva.lacounty.gov.

October 20 Stand Down

We just returned back to Brentwood from the Second Annual Stand Down at the WLA VA.

There were seven of us there to guide Maria’s Italian Kitchen delivery van to our breakfast tables.  The Breakfast Wraps were warm, delicious, and such a welcome sight to the long line of hungry Vets some of whom are homeless and struggling. 

A HUGE SHOUT OUT AND THANK YOU TO MADDY ALFANO OF MARIA’S ITALIAN KITCHENS for supplying the 350 breakfast wraps…one of the first businesses in Brentwood Village… newly remodeled and now serving Beer and Wine.

Michael Johnson did a great job with a great staff who organized all the vendors and volunteers.  The DMV was there to give ID’s on site.  The nursing staff had a special section set aside in the Welcome Center for women to get special TLC including manicures and make up.

People, today we saw gratitude embodied.  So many thank you’s.  Such respectful interactions.  We are all floating on air from the love and support that was shared.

Thank you for supporting The WLA VA and Village for Vets.  I encourage all of you to go to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to follow us and see more pictures.

FB: Village for Vets

Twitter:  Vill4Vets

Instagram: VillageforVets

 

 

Marcie

Recap Village for Vets and the WLA VA STAND DOWN

Dear All,

Just wanted to let you all know that Village for Vets has collected over 50 bags of miscellaneous clothing, bags, shoes and other goods for the Stand Down on Thursday October 20, 2016.

We have collected $1,455.00 to donate directly to the Stand Down.  Breakfast wraps are being donated by Maria’s Italian Kitchen.

There is a group of 7 volunteers coming from the community including Jennifer Turchin from the Chamber.  The Chamber donated directly to the VA as well.

We are all so gratified to be lending our support to this meaningful event.

SECOND ANNUAL VETERANS STAND DOWN OCTOBER 20

(Village for Vets now has 501c3 status approval.  90049ers and others…come help the WLA VA and LA’s Homeless Vets)

 

VILLAGE FOR VETS and THE BRENTWOOD VILLAGE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

INVITE YOU ON BEHALF OF

THE WEST LOS ANGELES VETERANS ADMINISTRATION

  SECOND ANNUAL VETERANS STAND DOWN

 

WHEN?  OCTOBER 20, 2016

6 AM – 5 PM

 

WHERE?  WLA VA CAMPUS

BUILDING 257

 

WHAT IS A STAND DOWN?

Stand Downs are collaborative events coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, community agencies and community advocates serving the homeless Veterans. 

The term "Stand Down" comes from times of combat.  After a military conflict, soldiers were removed from the combat zone to a safe and secure place to recover. Veterans experiencing homelessness still live in conditions similar to combat but without the services needed to survive. A Stand Down event provides the access to services that will help veterans get to a safer and more secure place of independence.

 

THIS EVENT HOSTED 800 PEOPLE LAST YEAR AND RESULTED IN HOUSING FOR 133 INDIVIDUALS!

 

VOLUNTEER TRAINING REQUIRED

VOLUNTEERS ARE ASKED TO ATTEND TRAINING

OCTOBER 17 IN BUILDING 257 FROM 1:30 – 2:30 PM

 

WHAT DOES THE VA NEED FROM THE COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT THIS CRUCIAL EVENT?

FUNDS – FUNDS SUPPORT
Go to www.villageforvets.org to donate

THE DMV ISSUES ID’S ON THE SPOT TO VETS WITHOUT VALID ID
$500 to sponsor

HAIR CUTS, GLASSES, DENTAL SERVICES
Email info@villageforvets.org to volunteer services and see attachment for vendors above

FOOD
Email info@villageforvets.org to volunteer food donations

ENTERTAINMENT
$300 to sponsor

T-SHIRTS
Go to www.villageforvets.org to donate so the VA can supply t-shirts for the day

MAKE-UP FOR THE FEMALE VETS
Email info@villageforvets.org to volunteer goods

CLOTHING/MEN AND WOMEN
Email info@villageforvets.org to volunteer new of gently used clothing

AN ABUNDANCE OF VOLUNTEERS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
See volunteer form attached above and attend training day Oct 17 in Building 257 from 1:30-2:30

 

HOW TO DONATE?
Go to
www.villageforvets.org to make a donation.  

All donated funds for the Stand Down will be given directly to the WLA VA

         (ALL DONATIONS ARE FULLY TAX DEDUCTABLE.CONFIRMATIONS WILL BE SENT FOR EACH DONATION)

 

Brentwood Village Businesses Partner With West L.A. VA to Support Local Veterans

Article via West Side Today

August 19, 2016 11:54 am by: Staff Report Category: eventsFeaturedLeave a comment A+ / A-

By Kelly Hartog

In Jan 2016, Brentwood Village business owners came together with the Brentwood Village Business Improvement District and the Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce to launch the Village for Vets organization.

Spearheaded by Brentwood Village business owner Marcie Polier Swartz, a Brentwood resident since 1987, Village for Vets is an opportunity to support Veterans through the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration. The initiative came about after Ann Brown was appointed as the new director of the West L.A. VA in January and was happy to work with the local community.

Given that Brentwood Village shares two of the VA’s parking lots, there was an even greater desire among the business community to help the VA. In addition, Polier Swartz has a personal connection to the West L.A. VA. She has a family member who is a veteran and is there with him several times a year.

Village for Vets’ website states, ‘We take pride in our longstanding connection to the West Los Angeles VA,’ and Polier Swartz told Brentwood News the organization is reaching out to community members to get involved along with the local businesses.

“We have always wanted to support the VA in a meaningful way, and now that new leadership is in place at the VA, and the legislative offices are in support of us working together for the betterment of all, we needed a local vehicle,” she said.

Enter Village for Vets. The organization has applied for its 5013c non-profit status and Polier Swartz said they expect the approval to come through before the end of the year.

Since its launch in January, Village for Vets has sponsored two Super Bowl parties on the campus for the Vets who frequent the Welcome Center; participated in the Memorial Day 5k with a booth donated by the Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce; and donated Dr. Shelley’s Read n View devices to the Medical Center.

Upcoming events include a clothing drive and a community wide fundraiser sponsored by Maddy Alfano and Maria’s Italian Kitchens, which will take place in November.

Funds from that event will be earmarked for housing packages to support vets moving off campus into HUD (Housing and Urban Development) housing.

Polier Swartz said Village for Vets has started to galvanize the community. “At the 5k event we had so many sign-ups for volunteers and ideas. One request came from a vet to donate art supplies and hold art classes,” she said. “The community is coming together slowly to support the VA. Word needs to circulate that we now have a vehicle, a calendar of events, and a big mission. To learn more about Village for Vets and to get involved, visitvillageforvets.org.

Dr Shelley's Read N Vue Donation

Dave’s bff Russell contacted me to donate Dr. Shelley's Read n Vue, https://readnvue.com/ to the WLA VA.

Talk about the feeling of a full heart…

I immediately went into action contacting all my WLA VA bff’s!  Debbie Lasker, Terri Dunham, Sadie Stewart, Theresa DiMaggio..everyone helped us get connected on this great donation which was received and taken to the Medical Center on Tuesday June 1, 2016.

Thank you everyone, and especially to Shelley and Russell Stravitz, for this life altering donation.

Memorial Day 5k at the WLA VA

The Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce donated $3,000 to New Directions in support of the Memorial Day event.

They were given a great booth right next to New Directions’ booth and the Stage.  They were out of town and could not man the booth, and so Village for Vets had a GREAT day filling in for the BVCC.

The music, the cardio warm up, the crowd was electric.   The weather was not too warm.  Just perfect for a 5k.

Big Wave Dave was back at the booth signing up the many visitors, talking about our many plans, and giving away bite sized Snickers and Milky Way bars!

While waiting at the starting line, Fox News interviewed Marcie Polier Swartz, Village for Vets founder which many of you saw!  Marcie got to acknowledge the community and the long standing relationship between 90049 residents and the WLA VA.  Then she ran…with her daughter and son in law…stopping (a lot!!) along the way for the many photo ops!!

Here's me with Molly Ann Mroczynski, Chief Development Officer New Directions For Veterans.  Thanks Molly for putting on such a great event, even with a torn ACL!

April News & Update

Dear Friends,

We have been busy at Village for Vets with set up.  The 501c3 application is almost finished (50+ pages including many affidavits and essays).  Our status when granted will be retroactive to our Jan 5, 2016 incorporation date.

We have met with Ann Brown, the new Director of the WLA VA Medical Center.  She is stellar.  As she gets the organization ready for all the changes we will work together to create benefits for veterans.

We have met with the HUD Housing representatives and the Heads of Volunteer Services.  We are learning how to donate goods, services and housing packages to the VA so that some veterans do not feel awarded while others feel left out.  This will be a challenge since we are just beginning and have very limited funds.

We are looking forward to a rich and rewarding relationship.  We are looking forward to learning how the community can partner with the WLA VA in the most beneficial manner.

STAY TUNED:  We are planning our first Village Fundraiser in May…more to come…

We are all one community,

Marcie