On May 24th Tee it up for the Troops and other local businesses teamed up to help raise funds for Minnesota Military Veterans in need. Every year, more than 10,000 veterans contact the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) with questions or are looking for support.
According to the Wilder Research Study on Homelessness in Minnesota, on any given night, an estimated 669 Veterans are without a home. It’s also estimated that many veterans are on the verge of a crisis that could lead to homelessness.
These men and woman, who honorably served their nation and defended our shared values, now struggle in their own country, state, and communities. Many live on the street, suffering from physical and/or mental issues, staying outdoors because their military training enables them to do so. Too often they delay seeking help. Today, along with the current economic hardships, we are faced with new challenges such as unaddressed medical and mental health including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. These cases are on the increase as more veterans return home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The needs vary, but the fact remains, too many Veterans are struggling, says Jason Engler, market manager for TDS Telecommunications Corp. More veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to face unimaginable challenges. These are people that protected our country, fought for our country, they are heroes. Now, they need a little help to get back on their feet.
Creating “Care Connections for Heroes,” TDS is teaming up with Tee it up for the Troops and other local business. The businesses will be raising funds all summer long for MACV, an organization dedicated to assisting Minnesota Veterans regain stability in their lives.
MACV’s StandDown, an annual outreach event, will be held on Aug. 2-3 this year. It’s just one of the many events Care Connections for Heroes is supporting during this campaign. During the two-day event, more than 700 veterans are expected to receive free services, including:
- Connection to benefits
- Housing referrals
- Mental health services
- Legal assistance
- Employment counseling
- Clothes and personal care items (soap, shampoo, etc.)
- Haircuts, meals and more.
The Care Connections for Heroes campaign started on May 24th as part of TDS Tuesday at Midway Stadium during the St. Paul Saints home game. All season long, monetary donations will be collected at Saints games during every TDS Tuesday at Midway Stadium. The campaign culminates at the Tee it up for the Troops annual golf event on September 9th.
Every Tuesday when the Saints play a home game, we’ll be on hand collecting donations to help local Veterans in need, Engler says. We hope Saints fans will support our efforts to help our heroes. Together, we can truly make a difference.
In addition to collecting donations at Saints games, organizers are hosting an online auction. The auction offers hotel and restaurant certificates for personal use; they can also be donated to a veteran and his or her family. All auction proceeds will support Care Connections for Heroes.
For more information, access to the auction or to support Care Connections for Heroes, visit www.tdsbusiness.com/minnesota and click on the Care Connections for Heroes section of the web page.