MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Monday, December 19th delivered a holiday surprise at the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.
Mayor Barrett stopped by their new warehouse with $5,000 worth of mattresses and bedding.
The organization helps homeless veterans get back on their feet -- even furnishing apartments when they can't find a place to live.
The donation was the result of the city's 10th annual "Holiday Drive."
"As quickly as things come in, they're going on our trucks right back out -- so we can't forget. It's not just winter. It's not just a certain time of the year. It's year-long. So to be able to have something like this to sustain us, this is remarkable," Kirsten Sobieski said.
If you'd like to help out, you can CLICK HERE to see the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative's list of most needed items.
On Tuesday, December 20th, Mayor Barrett wrapped up the 10th annual Holiday Drive -- delivering goodies collected for more than five weeks to veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
Below is a statement from the Mayor's Office on the 10th annual Holiday Drive:
"Mayor Tom Barrett’s 10th Annual Holiday Drive concluded on December 20th after more than five weeks of collecting donations to benefit Milwaukee veterans. This year’s Holiday Drive supported both the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) and the veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
The 10th Annual Holiday Drive aims to spread holiday cheer to veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. Items on the veterans’ wish list were collected throughout the five-week drive. Donation bins were set up inside City Hall, the Courthouse and other facilities across Milwaukee County. Thousands of items were collected and more than $13,000 was fundraised this year.
In addition, Mayor Barrett surprised MHVI with $5,000 worth of mattresses and box springs, with additional bedding and pillows, to benefit Milwaukee-area veterans experiencing homelessness. The Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. provided financial support in supplying these items to Milwaukee veterans.
“Veterans and their families make many sacrifices to protect our freedoms. This is a small way of showing our appreciation,” Mayor Barrett said. “Thank you to all who partnered with the City of Milwaukee in making the holidays brighter for these courageous individuals. I’m proud to show our appreciation and help create a joyful holiday season for Milwaukee veterans and their families.”
Since 2007, the City of Milwaukee has held an Annual Holiday Drive for servicemen and women. City of Milwaukee employees, community partners, businesses and residents have risen to the challenge and collected thousands of toiletries, snacks, goodies and more to help bring a little holiday cheer to those who have sacrificed for our country.
The drive began as a way for the City of Milwaukee to share its gratitude with Wisconsin troops who were far away from their families during the holidays. Within the first several years, more than 2,000 goodie-filled boxes were shipped to Wisconsin troops serving our country overseas in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.
In 2013, the Holiday Drive took on a new beneficiary: our veterans. With more and more troops returning home from overseas service every month, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County formed a partnership to bring awareness to and address the struggles of veterans who face homelessness or difficulties with stable housing. With the help of the community, 600 complete home starter kits were created for MHVI, enough to support hundreds of veterans and their families in the Greater Milwaukee Area."