Good Cause of the Month: The Homeland Heroes Foundation
Supporting active duty service members, veterans and their families in their time of need.
Starting last year, we’ve been alerting you to events and causes worthy of your time and philanthropic treasure in our Good Cause of the Month series. Keep an eye out for a Good Cause every month here at NHMagazine.com, from charitable events to volunteer opportunities to nonprofits you should get to know — and, by the end of the year, your do-gooder cred will be off the charts.
For this month’s good cause, we’d like to introduce you to the Homeland Heroes Foundation. Since October of 2013, the Homeland Heroes Foundation has worked tirelessly in their efforts to re-acclimate active service members, veterans and their families back to civilian life. Comprised of 25 dedicated volunteers working year-round, the Homeland Heroes Foundation runs in partnership with every military organization in New Hampshire, including the VA, Easterseals and Harbor Homes, to name a few.
What They Do
Julie Weymouth and Kim McMahon founded the Homeland Heroes Foundation five years ago, but the inspiration for the project originated just a year earlier in 2012. After meeting with a member of the Family Readiness Group (FRG), a friendship and support group for families of service members who act as social centers for networking opportunities, Weymouth decided to help those in need by providing Christmas gifts for a few families. After calling on the help of her friends and family, they were able to provide for 10 families at the FRG Christmas party at Camp Edwards Air Force Base on Cape Cod. As a parent, Weymouth was able to witness firsthand the impact that deployed services members had on their relatives, and the importance of providing assistance to those in need. With McMahon's help, the Homeland Heroes Foundation was born.
With nothing but an idea, the two shortly found themselves overwhelmed with the community’s response and donations. It was during a discussion with the chaplain of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where Weymouth and McMahon discovered the immense need for furniture and other basic living essentials. Before they knew it, with more people donating furniture than service members reaching out, their storage unit was overflowing. After some outreach, they begin receiving phone calls asking for help. The foundation makes an effort to supply more than just furniture – they deliver beds, food and gas cards, and even temporary living locations for homeless veterans.
Alongside a number of volunteers and consistent donations, the Homeland Heroes Foundation works closely with sponsors in order to host fundraisers and offer financial assistance. Enterprise Bank is currently donating $10 for every new account opened, and setup donation boxes at four active branches. The foundation also receives assistance from other sponsors, including (but not limited to) American Legion post 63, We Care Charity, Freedom Riders of NH and the Salem Women’s Club. Collectively, these sponsors are able to provide space for donation centers and the collection of household items. “We are successful because of all of the people and or businesses who have helped us get where we are today,” says Weymouth “We are forever in their debt and so eternally grateful that they have stood with us and helped us to make a difference in the lives of so many well deserving service members.”
Although the foundation focuses its attention more on providing social support and common living arrangements, they are currently working with outside sources, including Boston Home Base and the VA, in an effort to combat physiological issues that are induced by deployment.
“I appreciate all the generous people who have helped us achieve our goals. I appreciate all the friendships that have emerged as a result of people working together for the greater good,” says Weymouth. “I appreciate witnessing the goodness in people, and most of all, I appreciate all of our service members who have sacrificed so much so that we can live in freedom in our great country.”
How You Can Help
Volunteering: The Homeland Heroes Foundation is a primarily volunteer-based organization. If you would like to donate your time, you can reach out here.
Donating: Donations are welcome at any time and can be online here. The donation center is located in Hudson. You can either make an appointment to drop off items or schedule a pickup. For a list of what the foundation accepts or needs, check here.
If you or anybody you know is aware of veteran job opportunities, feel free to contact the Homeland Heroes Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you know of an organization or charitable event that would make a great Good Cause of the Month? Send your ideas to Assistant Editor Emily Heidt at email@example.com