CHATHAM, NJ - Claire Tunny, a 16-year-old Girl Scout from Chatham High School seeking her Gold Award, titled her project, “They Were There For Us, Let Us Be There For Them.”

Tunny chose to work with Community Hope, Lyons, a private charity which gives transitional housing to 95 homeless veterans.

“I have always had great respect for our veterans and for the sacrifices and hardships they have endured,” Tunny said, “ so being able to give back to them would be an honor.” 

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Among the 95 veterans in the Hope for Veterans program, only six are women. Tunny was dedicated to renovating and upgrading the women's community room to create a more relaxing and enjoyable environment. After hosting several bake sales to raise funds, Tunny was able to paint and completely refurnish the room with a couch, chairs, lamps, a rug, pillows, a television stand, and a new television. 

The Hope for Veterans Program aides veterans suffering from alcoholism, mental health issues, poverty, and drug dependencies, which leave many homeless. Community Hope is dedicated to helping veterans address and recover from these conditions. 

Upon touring the facility with Leshia Davis, Hope for Veterans resident manager, Tunny felt equipped to address several needs and services of the veterans. After noticing the kitchen appliances were in poor condition, she decided to replace them.

Through generous donations, Tunny obtained several appliances for Community Hope. Despite originally promising 12 appliances, she delivered 53 new crock pots, toaster ovens, blenders, electric skillets, etc. On September 21st, she delivered 4 more. Along with the new appliances, she also received many donations of small kitchen items.

Tunny said she is extremely grateful for support in the project from family, friends, the Marine Corps League, #1284, Road Detachment, and the Daughters of the American Revolution, Basking Ridge Chapter for their generous donations. Marianne Golden is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and served as Tunny's project advisor.

To learn more or if you  would like to get involved with  Community Hope, please visit www.communityhope.org