Exciting News

Strangers, now family, aid Vietnam Veteran in need this Christmas 

  Telegram, Worcester, MA

        December 23, 2019 

Going Beyond the Finish Line to help those who Serve. 

GRAFTON--During the holiday season, families often gather to share good will and cheer.

Sometimes those family members are complete strangers.

Representatives from several veteran support groups spent the busy Saturday before Christmas building a ramp at the North Grafton home of Vietnam veteran, former Grafton call firefighter and long-time school department employee, Galen L. Holmes Jr.

Mr. Holmes recently entered hospice care with advanced stage renal failure and other health issues.

“We didn’t know any of these people before all this, and now they’re like family to us,″ said an emotional Robin Holmes, Mr. Holmes’ daughter, who lives with Mr. Holmes and his wife Helen Holmes and helps them out.

“They’re our Christmas miracle,″ she said.

The ramp “is a lifesaver,″ she said. “It’s going to be so much easier to get him in and out of the house,″ for his dialysis treatments. “We don’t have to worry about him falling.″

Mrs. Holmes suffered a stroke in September. She has recovered, but the family has “been through a lot,″ Mr. Holmes said.

When Mr. Holmes’ granddaughter, Jolene Ferreira, wrote about Mr. Holmes’s struggles on social media, their posts caught the eye of Heather Viveiros, founder and president of Give2Those, a non-profit that helps veterans who could use a helping hand.

“What we do is to help others and give them hope, when that hope is fading away,″ she said. 

 

She heard of his story and decided to “give this man hope and dignity right before Christmas,″ she said. “He served his country. He was a firefighter. It touched everyone’s heart.″

Mr. Holmes served multiple carries in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He devoted his life to public service, Ms. Viveiros said, serving in the U.S. military, driving for Sweet Life, working for Grafton schools and volunteering his time for the town for years after retirement. 

“He has had renal (kidney) failure since 2014 starting out at stage 2,” she said. “Now, five years later, he has reached stage 5 failure, the final stage. He continues to live because of extreme dosages of medication and live-saving dialysis treatments three days a week for (more than four) hours a day. He lives for his family and isn’t ready to give up the fight, yet. For anyone who doesn’t know, there is no cure for renal failure.”

Mr. Holmes also battles with multiple other health conditions, she said, such as COPD and a vascular condition through his body, and is also a cancer survivor.

“Mr. Galen needs help to continue to stay alive,” she said. “Without it, he will not live much longer, with very little income and piling medical bills and new medical equipment always needed. Transportation to and from dialysis is a must to keep him alive and becoming more and more of a challenge every day and transportation is not covered under insurance.”

In addition to pledging the assistance of Give2Those, Ms. Viveiros also reached out to her contacts in the veterans support community. 

Through their combined effort, the ramp was not the only gift Mr. Holmes received. Hearing of his love for the New England Patriots, individuals from the organizations pooled their personal resources and purchased and installed a 49-inch television so he could view his beloved football team more comfortably.

He also received donations of a new mattress, a new storm door and a financial gift.

“That’s great,″ Mr. Holmes said of their donations. “They haven’t forgotten their friends in their time of need.″

“We look at each other as family. Sometimes, it’s family you haven’t met, yet,″ said Rocco Bartone, who is part of Task Force Vet Visits, a non-profit that reaches out to veterans to offer support.

“Once we see someone struggling, we try to step in,″ said Steve Haffney of Masshole Marines, an organization that reaches out to benefit the veteran community.

A cash donation was delivered from Vet Event Inc.

The support from the veteran community was especially meaningful for Mrs. Ferreira, who is a veteran herself. She was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army earlier this year after taking a bad fall at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

She lives in western Massachusetts and visits her grandparents several times a week to help out, even as she slowly recovers from her own injuries.

“I’m proud of her,″ Mr. Holmes said.

Clearly, that sentiment is returned. Mrs. Ferreira recently asked her grandfather to write four specific words on a piece of paper, not telling him why.

The words were tattooed between the Grafton Fire Department logo and his good conduct medal received in the service.

In his heartfelt scrawl, the four words read, “I love you, always.″

Stride and Ride Relay comes to Old Bridge 9/11 Memorial 2019

On Behalf of Give2Those and the Stride & Ride Tactical Team we thank Mayor Owen Henry and Rosemarie  Rivoli and the entire Township for welcoming us with open arms. We look forward in seeing you guys once again this coming year. 

Read Full Article by clicking on PDF below

OLD BRIDGE, NJ – The annual Give2Those 8-day Stride and Ride Relay came to Old Bridge on Oct 8, 2019 where they began the morning with a special assembly at the Ellen McDermott Grade 9 Center, greeted by student cheers as they entered the building. Afterwards Mayor Owen Henry officiated over a moving ceremony at the Municipal Complex, welcoming the organization to Old Bridge Township.  Give2Those charity founder Heather Viveiros paid tribute to the 15 Old Bridge residents lost on Sept. 11, 2001 by presenting Mayor Henry with a wooden American Flag plaque bearing the names of those residents.

Middletown provides ceremonial welcome to 'Give2Those Mid-Atlantic Stride and Ride Relay Tactical Team

Mayor Perry, Committee woman Pat Snell and Chief Schweizer led the Stride and Ride team, Township officials and members of the community through the Memorial Gardens. The bell from our 9/11 ceremony, donated by Port Monmouth Fire Company, was rung before entering the Gardens and a 9/11 survivor carried a memorial flag holding over 10,000 images of 9/11 victims as well as first responders, military members and veterans lost during any era,
through the memorial.  

MIDDLETOWN, NJ: On Tuesday, October 8th, Middletown welcomed the Give2Those Mid-Atlantic Stride & Ride Relay Tactical Team, which included a procession of vehicles and motorcycles, to our WTC Memorial Gardens so they could pay their respects to the 37 residents we lost on 9/11. The relay, which spans 911 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Arlington, Virginia, is held at the beginning of October to honor our military servicemen and women who deployed October 7, 2001.
 
With the beautiful backdrop of a large U.S. flag erected by MTFD Fire Chief Steve Schweizer and volunteer firefighters, Mayor Tony Perry welcomed the team, spoke about the impact of 9/11 on our town, and acknowledged late Detective Lieutenant Joseph Capriotti, who had the difficult task of being the “keeper of the list” of the 37 Township residents we tragically lost on 9/11.

Give2Those.org founder Heather Viveiros gave a powerful speech about the importance of uniting people to remember those we have lost at war, including those who have lost their lives due to military PTSD and the invisible wounds of war. She talked about the importance of remembering those who perished on 9/11 and continuing to support those currently serving, our veterans, first responders and their families.

After walking through the Gardens, members of the Stride and Ride team tolled the bell in memory of veterans’ lives lost to suicide. Per the mission of the organization, when we recognize the sacrifices they have made for us, we keep our promise that we will never forget them.

To view photos from the ceremony, please click HERE.  Click HERE for more information about Give2Those and the Stride & Ride relay.  Facebook: @Give2Those

Stride and Ride Relay comes to Old Bridge 9/11 Memorial 2018

On Behalf of Give2Those and the Stride & Ride Tactical Team we thank Mayor Owen Henry and Rosemarie Rivoli and the entire Township for welcoming us with open arms. We look forward in seeing you guys once again this coming year. 

Stride and Ride Relay will visit the 9/11 Memorial Site in Old Bridge from 11 a.m. to noon on Oct. 8. The memorial is located at 1 Old Bridge Plaza in the municipal center.

The annual Stride & Ride Relay, which spans 911 miles from Boston to Arlington, Virginia, was created to to honor and remember those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001; military personnel who were deployed on Oct. 7, 2001; those lost at war; those who lost their lives due to the invisible wounds of war; and support those currently serving, including veterans and first responders. 

 

On Behalf of Give2Those and the Stride & Ride Tactical Team we thank Mayor Owen Henry and Rosemarie  Rivoli and the entire Township for welcoming us with open arms. We look forward in seeing you guys once again this coming year. 

Middletown Welcomes Stride and Ride Relay Team in Honor of 9/11 Victims, Veterans, and First Responders

On Behalf of Give2Those and the Stride & Ride Tactical Team we thank Mayor Kevin Settembrino and Committee woman Pat Snell for welcoming us with open arms. We look forward in seeing you guys once again this coming year. 

Mayor Kevin Settembrino and Committee woman Pat Snell met with Heather Viveiros, founder of the Stride and Ride Tactical Team, at the World Trade Center Memorial Gardens on Monday, October 8th. (Photo courtesy of Maggie O'Brien) On Monday, October 8th, Middletown was honored to host the Stride and Ride Relay Tactical Team at the World Trade Center Memorial Gardens (36 Church Street). The Stride and Ride Relay spans 911 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Arlington, Virginia to honor and remember those who perished on 9/11, our Military Men and Women who deployed Oct. 7, 2001, those lost at war, and those lost to the invisible wounds of war. It also supports those currently serving, including our Veterans, First Responders and their families. The team stopped in Middletown to pay their respects to the 37 residents we lost on September 11th. We thank the Stride and Ride Relay Team for their effort to bring communities together and bridge the gap between service members and civilians. Such events serve as a meaningful step toward the healing of our country.

Thanks to another successful Charity Golf Tournament 

We could not have done it without your help. It really turned out to be a beautiful, enjoyable and exciting day.

Thank you so much for sponsoring the 3rd Annual Give 2 Those Memorial Golf Tournament in Honor & Remembrance of 1LT Scott Milley. It turned out to be a beautiful day and a wonderful success. We could not have done it without your help. There was a real sense of community that would not have been possible without the support of everyone who golfed and the businesses like that supported our efforts.

(Pictures coming Soon) Please take a look below at the Amazing photos Joe Stigle took at the Chairty Golf Tournament. To book Joe for your next event email him at jstriglephoto@outlook

www.josephstriglephotography.com 

Help Make a Difference and Donate Today!

Contact Us - P.O BOX 206 Waban, MA 02468   Email : info@Give2Those.org  Follow Us on Social Media :

Give2Those  is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization EIN 82-2776703  ©2018 by GIVE2Those Inc.