A VA employee and her Navy Veteran husband believe in putting “thanks” and “giving” into action during the Thanksgiving season with their “Dinner for Veterans” program.
Roxanna Dunlap, 23-year Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks employee who currently works in Food and Nutrition, along with her husband Rocky Dunlap, donated 200 complete Thanksgiving meals this year to Veterans in need in their community.
Veteran Yves Adams with donations
Some of the Veterans they help struggle to make ends meet, and this act of kindness means the world to many who they help. Army Veteran Yves Adams is one of those Veterans and this meal is something he is thankful for. “I have health issues and times are hard. I am barely getting by so this really helps,” he said.
Empathy was motivation for Dinner for Veterans
Rocky understands where Veterans are coming from. “We can’t repay Veterans for their service, but we can put a smile on their face this Thanksgiving,” he said.
Rocky empathizes with many of the hardships that Veterans endure after they return from their service and that’s why he and his wife started their non-profit.
Each donation includes everything needed to fix a complete Thanksgiving meal for six people. The generous gifts include turkey, potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, pumpkin pie, whip cream and a whole lot of love and respect for deserving Veterans in Northwest Arkansas.
Roxanna and Rocky dropped off the meals at the HUD/VASH location where the meals are being delivered to homeless and food-insecure Veterans. HUD-VASH is a collaborative program which pairs HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance with VA case management and supportive services for homeless Veterans.
“I have a lot to be thankful for.”
These services help homeless Veterans and their families find and keep permanent housing, access health care, mental health treatment, substance use counseling and other services to help them in their recovery process.
Joel Cunningham, nurse case manager at HUD/VASH, says it is wonderful to see the appreciation and joy on Veterans’ faces as they receive this donation. He is grateful to Roxanna and Rocky for giving so much help to our Veterans during the holiday season.
“I can’t wait to cook this on Thanksgiving Day. I have a lot to be thankful for,” Adams said.