Giving Back

Adopt A Vet For Christmas Opens Winter Fundraiser for Veterans with PTSD

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FLORHAM PARK, NJ- The Summit Elks will once again be holding their holiday season fundraiser “Adopt A Vet For Christmas”. All of the proceeds will go directly into supporting the veterans of the Lyons Veteran’s Hospital.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11% and 20% of all Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans came back with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. These are the highest numbers since the Vietnam War which had a staggering 30% PTSD rate among its veterans. The “Adopt A Vet For Christmas” program goes directly to these men and women who served their community and their country and are still suffering.

The program goes out and buys personal Christmas presents for the men and women in the PTSD Unit at Lyons Veteran’s Hospital and Treats them all to a specially made Christmas dinner. Each gift costs approximately $50 and is selected individually for each veteran.

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“It is a great way to say we care about you and you are not forgotten,” said “Adopt A Vet For Christmas” creator JoAnn Naklicki.

In addition to the immediate benefits for the holiday season, the funds raised by the program carry throughout the year. Each month, the proceeds are used to help fund dinners for the men and women of the unit. The dinners go a long way in keeping their moral up for the whole year long.

“Whatever I do for the rest of the year is from this fundraiser,” Naklicki went on to say. “I do these monthly dinners, I do Valentine’s Day for them and I do Easter Bunnies at Easter. Really whatever holiday it is, I try to do something for them. It really helps them to see that people care about them. They can see that the community and people outside their families still care about them.”

This fundraiser is also completely for the veterans. Every single penny collected goes directly to the men and women of the PTSD Unit. There are no salaries, no overhead and no expenses that keep the donated money from going directly to the people that need it.

To share the holiday with one of this nation’s heroes, make a check for whatever amount you can to the Summit Elks Lodge 1246 and send them to JoAnn Naklicki, 13 Brandywyne Dr. Florham Park, NJ 07932.

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