Helmets of Hope
For a couple of years, we collected basic hygiene supplies that we donated to the VA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach Center in Rock Island, for distribution to people the Center served. That was a satisfying ministry, but following the second such collection, we caught a vision for an expanded ministy to local homeless vets.
Consultations with the Outreach Center indentified a need of veterans who are are transitioning out of homlessness: basic home cleaning supplies and accessories as they move into housing of their own with VA assistance. The vision was that we would raise money, purchase supplies, and transport them as needed to the Outreach Center and VALOR program (in Davenport), which would then distribute to the vets they served. We decided to call the ministry "Helmets of Hope."
We held our first fundraisers in August 2015, and delivered around 100 initial allotment collections - all 20 items that we provide - in December of that year. Since then we have helped our partner agencies create in-house inventories of the most quickly-consumed items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent, while we have maintained inventories of all items so as to provide intial allotments to veterans who move into our partners' programs. In addition, in June 2017 we expanded the ministry's reach by making our first supply delivery to an emergency housing program for vets in Peoria. Our vision is that the veterans we serve will receive all the supplies we offer through the partner agency that serves them, including free refills on supplies as they run out.
A Helmets of Hope ministry sufficient to meet the needs of the veterans we serve requires that we raise a steady supply of funds throughout the year, most of which we plan to receive from major public fundraisers, but also through donations received at all times through the year. The need is obvious, we think, in the fact that over its first twenty months of operation, Helmets has delivered nearly 8,000 supply items to our partners, and more than 200 veterans have been welcomed to their new housing by the supplies we offer. You can help provide essential home supplies to veterans via your tax-deductible donation to Helmets of Hope. Send your donation to:
First Christian Church - 3501 7th St - East Moline, IL 61244-3502
(make your check out to First Christian Church, but be sure to use the memo line to identify "Helmets of Hope" as the target of your gift; we'll send you a letter of acknowledgement and thanks)
For a pictorial history of Helmets of Hope click HERE.
View/Download the Helmets of Hope informational flyer by clicking HERE.
Learn more about the VALOR program, administered by the Humility of Mary Shelter in Davenport, by clicking HERE.
Learn more about the VA's efforts to end homelessness among veterans by clicking HERE.