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.
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.
Currently there is a bit of a learning curve that I am stuck on, and I’m hoping I can reach and connect with the right people to help and assist. These newspaper box were meant to accept change – I need to be able to have the ability to take payments larger then a few dollars and still have the ability to unlock the box. I have a few ideas on what a “P.O.S – Point of Sale” could look like for the box, but it’s beyond my knowledge on how to make it work. If someone is interested in helping with this piece please let me know. There are some people who I’ve been suggested to connect with and am working on connecting with them, but I feel the more people working on this the better the suggest.
In regards to where this vending machine will be placed, I have spoken with the Newbury Fire Chief about placing it next to the flag retirement box at Byfield Fire. He will be bringing the discussion before the board at the department for a vote and discussion. However, I would like to have and see more then one those out in the community in highly visible and trafficked locations. I’ve been eyeing possible locations Newburyport, Amesbury, and Haverhill while I have been out driving around.
With regards to the flags, the cost, and the profits. I have been talking with the flag company I use to purchase the grave marker flags that go out for Memorial Day. What I am going for is American Flags that are full size (4’ x 6’ or 5’ x 8’), embroidered, and packaged individually in boxes (which will allow them to be stacked in the vending machine respectfully. Yes, all the flags will be Made in America – just like the flags we place at the veteran graves in Newbury. We are currently looking at purchasing our American flags from MassCOR – the flags would be made here, in Massachusetts through a rehabilitation program offered by the Department of Corrections.
My goal is to keep the cost of the flags around the same price you would pay for them at the store. So it’s fair and reasonable. All proceeds from the sales of the flags would go and support the care of veteran graves. Which would only need to cover the cost of supplies as the work itself would be done by volunteers. Who have been properly taught and trained by the guidelines Preserving Newbury was taught from Historic Gravestone Services.
I am currently looking to partner up with a veteran organization (501c3) on this project and I have already started talking with a organization about this project. I feel this vending will be a great way to honor our veteran’s and our flag. The flag they once protected, now protects them and cares for them as they once cared for the flag. Each vending machine would be in honor and memory of a veteran killed in action.
If you are interested in helping make this vending machine, or you have ideas you would like to share pertaining to the vending machine please feel free to contact me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
In a medical emergency situation veterans may find themselves being stuck with medical bills for services and treatment received at a non-VA Emergency Rooms / Hospitals. Not every VA Hospital has an Emergency Room. There are some guidelines outlined by the VA and a process that can be done to appeal the VA decision care the bill, however, it’s not guaranteed, and the entire bill may not be cover.
As the Veteran Grave Officer for the Town of Newbury I get approached often by those looking to properly and respectfully retire their flag. It seemed like a growing concerning, or that just more and more people were approaching me. Without any solid answer and response I decided to take matters in my own hands and create a solution for that – one they can see when they drive around town, and open and available 24/7 – 365 days a year.
The question now was, ‘What can I do to create a location for the community to properly dispose of their flags?’. I thought about building a box out of wood, thought about creating something like a book drop that the library has, then after some research I saw pictures of other people across country have used an old retired curbside mailbox and transformed it to collect flags. Made perfect sense. Now the quest begun, how and where do I obtain an old mailbox.
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 email@example.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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or to Andrew LaCourse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
For the third year in a row Preserving Newbury will be hosting Wreaths Across America in Newbury Massachusetts. Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to continue to expand their annual wreath-laying ceremony which started at Arlington National Cemetery and now stretches to cemeteries all around the country. This program was started by a Maine businessman, Morrill Worcester. Wreaths Across America was able to provide every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery a wreath for the first time in 2014 – 227,000 in total. This year Preserving Newbury’s goal is to provide a wreath for every Veteran grave within the town’s limit – 600 in total.
Preserving Newbury understand that we have Veterans’ Day in the fall and Memorial Day in the spring. However, our service members sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year to preserve our freedom. In many homes across the United States there sits an empty seat for a loved one who is serving, or a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This is why our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. This mission last all year round – not just for a single day. Throughout the year, Preserving Newbury works numerous ways to show our veterans and their families that they are never forgotten.
When a volunteer places a wreath on a veteran’s grave we encourage them to speak that Veterans’s name aloud, and thank them for their service and sacrifice. In Newbury we have veterans who have served in just about every war and conflict that the United States has been part of – from American Revolutionary War – to the current conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Stretched amongst 7 burying grounds and cemeteries there are 600 veterans and one resting place of an unknown civil war solider. With Newbury being founded in 1635 some of these veterans served and played a critical role in the American Revolutionary War and the founding of our country. It would serve as a great honor to place a wreath at every veteran headstone within Newbury. If we go over our goal the remaining wreaths will be placed at veteran graves in surrounding communities.
For the 3rd in a row Don’s community group ‘Preserving Newbury’ will be working with Triton’s Football and Soccer team. Every year Preserving Newbury can be found working in cemeteries making sure the veterans graves look great for Veterans’ Day and Wreath Day in December.
The last couple of years these young athletics from Triton have done community service at the First Parish Burying Ground. Their day generally consisted of raking, clearing brush, pull weeds and basic lawn care maintenance. This year Preserving Newbury will be teaching these students the art of cleaning gravestones.
Earlier this year Preserving Newbury was taught by a professional Ta Mara Conde from Histroic Gravestone Services on how to clean gravestones. These students will learn the same techniques.
October 8, 2017 marked the 50th year anniversary of the passing of Sgt. Donald Wilkinson, a Newbury resident and Vietnam Veteran. On this day there was a dedication ceremony at the Plum Island Bridge.