Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Barrett’s 10th Annual Holiday Drive Supports Local Veterans

Service Members Benefitted from Annual Drive during Holiday Season

By - Dec 22nd, 2016 02:15 pm

MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett’s 10th Annual Holiday Drive concluded on December 20 after more than five weeks of collecting donations to benefit Milwaukee veterans. This year’s Holiday Drive supported both the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) and the veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

The 10th Annual Holiday Drive aims to spread holiday cheer to veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. Items on the veterans’ wish list were collected throughout the five-week drive. Donation bins were set up inside City Hall, the Courthouse and other facilities across Milwaukee County. Thousands of items were collected and more than $13,000 was fundraised this year.

In addition, Mayor Barrett surprised MHVI with $5,000 worth of mattresses and box springs, with additional bedding and pillows, to benefit Milwaukee-area veterans experiencing homelessness. The Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. provided financial support in supplying these items to Milwaukee veterans.

“Veterans and their families make many sacrifices to protect our freedoms. This is a small way of showing our appreciation,” Mayor Barrett said. “Thank you to all who partnered with the City of Milwaukee in making the holidays brighter for these courageous individuals. I’m proud to show our appreciation and help create a joyful holiday season for Milwaukee veterans and their families.”

Since 2007, the City of Milwaukee has held an Annual Holiday Drive for servicemen and women. City of Milwaukee employees, community partners, businesses and residents have risen to the challenge and collected thousands of toiletries, snacks, goodies and more to help bring a little holiday cheer to those who have sacrificed for our country.

The drive began as a way for the City of Milwaukee to share its gratitude with Wisconsin troops who were far away from their families during the holidays. Within the first several years, more than 2,000 goodie-filled boxes were shipped to Wisconsin troops serving our country overseas in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

In 2013, the Holiday Drive took on a new beneficiary: our veterans. With more and more troops returning home from overseas service every month, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County formed a partnership to bring awareness to and address the struggles of veterans who face homelessness or difficulties with stable housing. With the help of the community, 600 complete home starter kits were created for MHVI, enough to support hundreds of veterans and their families in the Greater Milwaukee Area.

About the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative

The Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative focuses on homelessness among veterans, specifically through their home support program, furnishing rooms and apartments for veterans when they finally do find a place to live.

The Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative accepts donations of furniture and household items from individuals and businesses and delivers them to veterans and their families setting up their home.  The Home Support program has helped furnish the apartments of more than 900 veterans a year since it began in 2009.  In 2014, MHVI helped 311 veterans and their families move into new living spaces.

About the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center

The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center has more than 500,000 visits annually, offering primary, secondary and tertiary care to those who dutifully served our country.  The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center continues to meet veterans’ changing medical, surgical and quality-of-life needs.  New programs provide treatment for traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, suicide prevention, women veterans and more. The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center has opened outpatient clinics, and established telemedicine and other services to accommodate a diverse veteran population and continues to cultivate ongoing medical research and innovation to improve the lives of America’s patriots.  The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation’s returning OEF/OIF/OND Service members and is grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places around the world.

10th Annual Holiday Drive Donors

The following companies and organizations generously donated to the 10th Annual Holiday Drive.

Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. Financial contribution of 10,000.00
Master Lock 150 padlocks
Marcus Corporation 100 movie passes
Target 175 dollars in gift cards
Walmart 200 dollars in gift cards
Bublr Bikes 4 annual memberships
Milwaukee Public Museum 25 admission vouchers
Culvers 14 value baskets
Noodles and Company 10 meals
Milwaukee County Zoo 30 admission vouchers
Mitchell Park Domes 6 admission vouchers
Cousins Subs 8 meals

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