The group members who helped clean and organize an Army Vets garage.

So Very Thankful

by | Dec 13, 2014 | Columns, Non-Profits

A weekly column on Fredericksburg.Today by Linda Clevenger, Organization Direct.

Last week, I had the pleasure to work with a local Veteran non-profit group to help someone in need. Their story touched my heart. He was injured by an IED while serving in the Army in Afghanistan. After being injured, the family made a quick move into our area to be near the Richmond VA Hospital, to get help for his severe brain trauma.

After the move, they immediately started with all of the doctor appointments. This didn’t leave much time to actually “move” into their home in Spotsylvania. Part of me understands what they went through because when the unexpected smacks you in the face, you just go into survival mode. You do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. The rest will just have to wait. It just doesn’t matter unless it is a true emergency.

This is what their life had become. Four years later, they concentrate on the next doctor’s appointment, making sure that the children have everything that they need and that there is food on the table. Getting everything unpacked and organized just didn’t become a priority.

First, I am thankful for B101.5.  The station invited me to participate in their first ever “Messy Room Makeover Contest” back in March. This is how the family and I met!  They entered the contest, but did not win the makeover.

Our meeting began the process of trying to figure out how we could get their garage organized. I have organized lots of garages before, but we really needed some help to make this happen. I just knew that there had to be an organization that would be happy to help me help a family in need, and I felt compelled to make this happen as quickly as possible.

Second, I am thankful for Blue Star Mothers of Fredericksburg. As a charter member, I knew that there had to be a Veterans group that would want to help a disabled Veteran in need. In April, Chris and Jaime Cammack attended a fund-raising event held by Blue Star Mothers. I spoke to Chris and Jaime, and they were excited to have the opportunity to help a Veteran in need. They are both influential supporters of the Veteran community through Team Red, White & Blue Fredericksburg.  And Chris is now president of the Fredericksburg Area Veterans Council (FAVC). They pulled their resources and formed a team to assist me.

A load heads out to be donated.

Third, I am thankful for everyone who showed up! I could not have done it without you. You brought trucks and a trailer to haul away all of the items to be donated. You even took away the trash!

Our work day turned out to be the hottest day of the year (so far!), and everyone exhausted themselves in order to make this happen. In the 90+-degree heat and almost 100 percent humidity, we all stretched ourselves physically and mentally.

I am eternally grateful and thankful to Team Red White & Blue Fredericksburg, the FAVC and the Smith family for reaching out to me.   Most of all, I’m thankful for the ability to help a local Veteran family in their time of need.  This is what life is all about.

The seven of us stretched ourselves and our physical limitations to make sure that we reached our goal – an organized garage for a disabled Army Veteran.
Read Linda’s previous columns, listed at this link.
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