Many of our veterans may be out of uniform but they’re still fighting battles each and every day.
That’s why there are organizations out there like “Helping Our Heroes” who’s mission is to provide a sense of community and purpose to those who need it most.
“The name of our farm is Manna Acres, which stands for marines, army, navy, national guard, and air force. If you follow the Bible it also means food from heaven,” says Founder of Helping Our Heroes, Leslie Melvin.
Helping Our Heroes is a non profit organization that not only teaches veterans life skills, but gives them a place to call home.
“It’s really nice to be able to provide food, grow food, teach veterans how to raise their own food, and it kind of has that special feeling to it,” says Melvin.
Melvin says many times when men and women transition from active military to civilian life, they can lose sight of their purpose.. which is why she’s taken it upon herself to help them find it again.
“By coming out here not only do they see that there’s a task at hand, they kind of figure out what needs to be done and then there’s accountability and responsibility attached to that,” says Melvin.
Melvin offers veterans help with anything from housing, to employment, to even learning how to take care of a community garden.
But most importantly she provides a space where veterans can connect with each other.
A resource Vietnam veteran, Thomas Kelley says has helped him get back on his feet.
“We’ve had meetings out here and you hear their problems and you hear their solutions,” says Kelley.
Melvin says many of the veterans like Kelley who take part in the program end up sticking around and giving back to others who join.
“They just keep paying it forward which is amazing to see,” says Melvin.
And though this mission may be here in Mason, those who volunteer say it’s still the call of duty that keeps them giving back.
“You think oh 10 minutes, but it can make a difference, such a difference,” says volunteer Sandy Jordan.
This time of year, the organization is working to pack holiday meals together for elderly veterans who need them.
If you’d like to donate, visit http://www.helpingourheroesmichigan.org/