“Veterans helping Veterans, that’s our motto,” says Chapter Adjutant Scott Berndt. For Chapter 39 of the Minnesota Disabled Veterans, they are dedicated to serving all veterans in their community. “I am proud to say we have never turned away a Veteran who needed help,” said Berndt.
Located in Anoka, Chapter 39 works tirelessly worked to be involved members of their community. “If you don’t put the work in, you won’t get anything out,” says Chapter Commander Bill Gordon. They are driven by Minnesota DAV’s mission; to better the lives of Minnesota Veterans and their families. And through local fundraisers, monetary donations and the soon-to-be transportation program, the chapter is doing just that.
Every year they donate to all five of the Minnesota State Veterans Homes, averaging around $4,000 per year. They also provide assistance directly to individuals, from replacing a veteran’s trailer roof to contributing to a veteran’s bathroom remodel after a car accident.
To help fund these donations, the chapter runs a local clothing drive and hosts an annual golf tournament. All the money raised is put right back into the community. Their newest venture: raising money for a van to start a transportation program. This program will provide free rides to the local Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Anoka County, removing a barrier that veterans may face to receiving medical care.
One of the chapter’s largest initiatives is their holiday giving program. Through their partnership with Anoka, Isanti and Sherburne County Veteran Service Officers, they identify widows or families of veterans in need and distribute gift cards around the holidays. In total, they give out $20,000 worth of gift cards to these families. How do they raise all that money? Chapter members will stand outside of grocery stores and other local businesses in mid-September to collect donations from the community as part of their “Forget Me Not” campaign. Not only are they supporting veterans themselves, but also their families who have sacrificed.
On behalf of the Minnesota Disabled American Veterans, we recognize the outstanding work that Chapter 39 has done to assist local veterans and better their community. Thank you for your dedication to our organization and furthering our mission.
If you are interested in donating, volunteering or joining Chapter 39, reach out to Chapter Commander Bill Gordon at [email protected] or 763-515-3686
- Stephen “Butch” Whitehead
Minnesota DAV Adjutant