Thanks to his and his wife’s continued persistence, Dee and Ilene Rushing will “head home” as they are recognized as one of the newly selected families at the Habitat dedication at 4 p.m. Saturday, September 10, in honor of Patriot’s Day. Dee served in Vietnam in the 57th Transportation company of the Army in 1967 at 19 years of age. The Rushing’s home will begin in the Spring of 2012.
Saturday will also mark the dedication ceremony for the Bernal family who have put in over 500 hours of sweat equity towards their home. In partnership with North Collin County Habitat for Humanity (NCCHH), the Bernal family will welcome well-wishers, dignitaries, friends and members of the public to a dedication ceremony at their new residence, 412 Carver, McKinney.
Sponsored by Bank of America, the dedication is a kickoff of NCCHH’s recent affiliation with “Habitats for Heroes: Veterans Serving Veterans,” a program of Habitat for Humanity International and The American Legion in which civilian and veteran volunteers converge to enhance veterans’ futures and build strong volunteer forces in a community. In addition, HFHI is making volunteer opportunities available to veterans nationwide through Service Nation’s “Mission Serve.”
“In a 2009 survey of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, almost 70 percent had not volunteered after returning from duty because either they had not been asked or did not have enough information about volunteer opportunities. More than half of those surveyed were willing to serve at least six hours per month, while a third were willing to provide at least 11 hours each month, “ said Celeste H. Cox, NCCHH executive director.
“Those statistics are a strong indication that most communities (including North Collin County) have a ready, willing and waiting reservoir of talent and enthusiasm to help returning veterans with a hand-up for their futures,” she said.
Under the auspices of the program, NCCHH has brought on board Laurie Boyer, a veteran herself, as project developer for veterans programs. “She is currently working on her Master’s in Emerging Media and Communications at The University of Texas at Dallas and a member of The American Legion in The Colony, “Cox said, “and she enjoys spending her free time volunteering on house builds with Habitat for Humanity.”
For additional information on the veterans’ programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Laurie Boyer, NCCHH Veteran’s Project Developer with Vietnam veteran and POW, Congressman Sam Johnson.