300 BBQ Chicken Dinners Delivered to Veterans & their Families in Haverhill, Mass

300 BBQ Chicken Dinners Delivered to Veterans & their Families in Haverhill, Mass

In June 2020, I was contacted by Sarah Sweeny from Military Friends Foundation who offered me a $1,00 COVID 19 Military Relief Fund grant to goes towards immediately assisting veterans and their families and families of Fallen Service Members to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money from this grant is going to be use to deliver 300  BBQ Chicken Dinners to Veterans in the City of Haverhill. It’s important that we work together, come together and support one another. This project that quickly came together does just that. With the help and support from Military Friends Foundation, AMVets Post 147, VFW Lorraine Post 29, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, Disabled and Limbless Veterans, Winchester Knights of Columbus Council 210, Market Basket, Institution for Savings Bank in Newburyport, Senator Diana DiZiglio and her staff, Rep. Andy Vargas, Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, members of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, and several local business owners and members of the community we will be able provide support directly to the homes of our veterans.

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Mocha, The Superhero Service Dog, a story about Never Giving Up!

Mocha, The Superhero Service Dog, a story about Never Giving Up!

I would like to share with you an idea that started off as me wondering if me service dog could talk and share his story with my niece and nephew what it sound like? How would explain his work as a service dog? What was his life like abandoned on the streets? Or the his experience in the shelter? 

Mocha, The Superhero Service Dog a children’s book now published through Amazon tells the story of a rescue dog who’s life in the beginning was not all that good. Abandoned on the streets of the big city, sick, lonely and hungry. This story is told from Mocha’s point of view.  Mocha has had quite the experience throughout his life. Throughout of his story you hear and learn about several struggles, and obstacles he has overcome and he never gave up. Even when he learned he might be put down do to his health, Mocha stayed positive. 

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Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, the Newburyport Salvation Army and Anna Jaques Hospital Partner together to Provide Hot Meals in Greater Newburyport

Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, the Newburyport Salvation Army, NCR Bus and Anna Jaques Hospital and volunteers are working together to provide a turkey dinner on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Those who would like a free hot meal are welcome to join us at the Newburyport Salvation Army located at 40 Water Street. We are that you arrive at 5pm. Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is preparing enough food to serve approximately 150 meals.

This meal would not be possible without the help and support from Anna Jaques Hospital and helping Merrimack Valley Hope Mission cook all the turkeys needed for this dinner. We are also great appreciative of NCR for donating a bus which will allow us to have a shuttle doing pick ups at Park Circle, the Heritage House, the Sullivan Building, and the James Steam Mill Building. The shuttle starts at 4pm and we asked everyone who would like to use the shuttle to be ready by 4-4:15pm beginning at Park Circle. Residents should wait inside the lobby by 4 pm at all stops and a volunteer will visit each the lobby to alert residents that the bus has arrived. The bus will start at Park Circle and proceed to: Heritage House, Sullivan Building, James Steam Mill then onto the final destination of the Newburyport Salvation Army. Bus will make a return trip following dinner. We are asking those who are looking for a ride to reserve their seat by calling 978-308-9186 and leaving us a message.

Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is also seeking help from volunteers and donations as well to help make this event a success. If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to the event please contact please call, text or email Don Jarvis at jarvis.don@gmail.com or (978) 914-8720.

The Merrimack Valley Hope Mission (MVHM) is a group of committed volunteers who perform missions on behalf of homeless and housing insecure individuals. Their various missions support numerous local nonprofit organizations devoted to homelessness, women in recovery, and foster children and are supported by dozens of caring individuals, families, groups, businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, and churches. MVHM is collectively devoted to improving the lives of those in need and provide food, water, clothing and personal essentials on a continuous basis throughout the year. The work is street-based outreach — they “meet people where they are”. All donated items are delivered directly to people who live outdoors or spend a great deal of time outdoors, which defines our initiatives as unique and actionable forms of compassion. For more information, join the Facebook group at http://www.merrimackvalleyhopemission.org.

Local Collaborative Effort Touches Homeless Communities in Greater Haverhill and Greater Newburyport

I would like to take a moment and share with you a project that we are doing to help and support those who live outdoors. Today, folks may find themselves in situations, or struggles that are far out of their control. Things that can drastically change and affect their life – sometimes even leaving them living outdoors.

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Yankee Homecoming Veterans Luncheon 2018

Yankee Homecoming Veterans Luncheon 2018


The 2018 Yankee Homecoming Committee is excited to announce the Annual Yankee Homecoming Veteran Luncheon. This luncheon aims to bring our Veterans and their guests together to make new friends, provide on-going resources, and to acknowledge the service that our Veterans gave to this great country. The Veteran Luncheon will be located at the Hope Community Church, 11 Hale Street, Newburyport, MA on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 from 12 noon – 2 pm. We would like the community to extend a special thanks to our luncheon sponsors: Fairway Mortgage, Hampton by Hilton, and Domino’s Pizza. Continue reading

American Flag Vending Machine

Currently I am working on that I’m looking for advice, and guidance on. I’m in a bit of jam and would greatly appreciate anyone interested in helping or have ideas please feel free to share.

In 2017 I started a volunteer group called Preserving Newbury, and last year we started a Community Flag Retirement Box which is located at the Byfield Fire Department. The high volume of flags the box continues to collects got me thinking – where are people replacing their flags? Why can’t they do it right here at the same time when they retire their flag? (FYI – several thousand flags have been connected at this location since 2016).

I tossed around this thought to a few people and then the idea came up of taking an old newspaper vending machine and converting into selling American Flags. So I reached out to the Daily News of Newburyport and explained to them the idea and within a few weeks they had an old newspaper box for the project.

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Merrimack Valley Hope Mission – Winter Outreach

What a truly amazing day it was today at GAR Park in Haverhill. Merrimack Valley Hope Mission was able hand out personal hygiene products (covering everything from toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, razors and more), sweat shirts, pants, socks, sneakers, backpacks, over 100 pairs of new Timberland boots, about 150 sandwiches, couple cases of MRE’s, blankets, sleeping bags, quilts, and so much more. This was all made possible by over 100 different resources and people donating stuff

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Santa Visits, Veterans Wreaths, and a Christmas Party at a Celtics Game. December 2017

Community Santa Home Visits in Newburyport and area Selective Dates in December (1 – 24)

Don’t miss the opportunity for your child to have Santa, Mrs. Claus or one of Santa’s Elves stop by for a home visit. Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit good children in the Greater Newburyport Area. The visitors from the North Pole will arrives with gifts, take some Santa Selfies and photographs, and listen to the children’s wish lists. The Santa Home Visits program has been running for three years in the Newburyport and surrounding area. Another similar Santa gift giving group in the area is Ozzie’s Kids in Haverhill who delivers more than 600 gifts each year to Haverhill’s residents. Visit http://www.CommunitySanta.org and Message Santa’s Elves to schedule your special visit

Newbury Wreath Laying Ceremony — Saturday, December 16 at 11 am

Remember. Honor. Teach. On Saturday, December 16th at 11 am, we are seeking volunteers to place wreaths on Veteran gravestones at seven Newbury Burial Grounds and Cemeteries. To volunteer in the wreath laying ceremony, help place the wreaths in the cemeteries, or other volunteer needs leading up Wreath Day please contact us at newburywreaths@gmail.com.

Boston Celtics Acknowledge Vietnam Veterans on December 23.

This year, the Boston Celtics are hosting a special event celebrating the heroism and acknowledging the service of more than two dozen Vietnam Veterans. Nominate your favorite Vietnam Veteran (can self-nominate or a loved one can nominate) to be entered into a lottery to win one of sixteen tickets. The featured game is on Saturday December 23 at the TD Garden with the Boston Celtics taking on the Chicago Bulls. Requests can be submitted via email to Don Jarvis at jarvis.don@gmail.com or to Andrew LaCourse at andrew.lacourse@comcast.net.

Christmas Party with Boston Celtics for Vietnam Veterans

During the past few years veterans have enjoyed a varitiy of sporting events thanks to the work and collaborative effects of Attorney Andrew LaCourse and combat veteran Donald Jarvis. Through the works of Andrew and Donnie veterans have been to events with the Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Celtics. 

In May 2015, veterans from the New England Center and Homes for Veterans about 18 veterans attended a Boston Red Sox game. On game day these veterans were given the full VIP treatment Executive Luxury Suite, full food buffet an souvenirs. On Veterans Day 2015, Andrew and Donnie did another veterans outing this time with the Boston Celtics. Operation Delta Dog, New England Center and Homes for Veterans amongst others enjoy the game. An special pregame event was held for Operation Delta Dog where money for service dogs were raised through a special paint night event in the TD Garden, there was a suite for NECHV, and seats a few rows from the court for more veterans to enjoy. 

Flag Day 2016, Operation Delta Dog benefited yet again from the work of Andrew and Donnie this time at Fenway Park. A dog training demonstration was schedule during the pregame festivities on Yawkey Way, on field ceremony, baseball dog cards sponsored by Blue Buffalo, and money was raised for Operation Delta Dog through selling tickets to supporters. In addition there was also a silent auction of a wide variety of Sports Memorabilia from Sportsworld held across the street at The Dugout. 

This year they have been in talks with Boston Celtics and are setting up a special event for about 16 Vietnam Veterans who are Celtics fans. Details around this night are still being worked out and will be kept as a surpise for the veterans. They are currently seeking Vietnam Veterans to take to the game. These veterans can sign up directly or a family member can reach out to us how to register. The game is on Saturday December 23, at the TD Garden. The Boston Celtics will be taking on the Chicago Bulls.  Request to go to this email can be submitted to either Andrew and Donnie – Andrew Lacourse can be reach at 1 (978) 866-0983 / andrew.lacourse@comcast.net and Don Jarvis can be reached by email at jarvis.don@gmail.com 

We are really excited about this opportunity to spend a special night out right before Christmas with our vietnam veterans. 


Emergency Medical Care for Veterans Become Discussion in Massachusetts

As you may already know, since January 2016 I have been working with numerous State Representatives and State Senators on improving Emergency Medical Care and Services for Veterans on the state level. Although this is a Federal level issue, I feel it’s important for Massachusetts to continue to be the leading example on addressing some many important issues. 

On Wednesday, October 25 at 2pm in Hearing Room B2 the Veterans and Federal Affairs committee will be hosting a Public Hearing on ‘An Act establishing emergency medical services for veterans’ – Bill H.2765. This public hearing testimonials will be shared with the committee either in person or presented in a letter. This legislation would make it so all veterans could utilize local emergency rooms for medical emergencies at no expense to the veteran. In the cases where the VA won’t pay the emergency room bill, and the veteran does not have health insurance then MassHealth would cover the cost of treatment. Not everyone who served in the military qualifies for VA Healthcare, not all veterans are eligible for VA Healthcare, and the VA is not obligated to pay for emergency room visits. 

This is can be a huge stress and burden for the veteran, or hold them back from getting their medical emergency addressed because they fear having to deal with the bill. Those who do seek treatment without coverage can face bad credit for not being able to pay for the bill. This legislation will help avoid all of those issues, and will allow veterans get receive emergency medical care with no bill.  

When we are in an emergency our veterans are there for us, now it’s time for us to be there for them when they are in an emergency. I feel we owe it to our veterans to have their backs when they need us most. 

I am seeking veterans who would be interested in showing their support in favor of this bill with a testimony. It would be great if we could throw a lot of support behind this legislation, either by you in person to the State House and testify or provide a written testimony which would be delivered to the Committee. 

I will need all written testimonials by Monday, October 23. 

Please share this request and note with any veterans you may know. 

Thank you!