We just observed Veterans Day across the United States, but for the Charlotte-based team at Veterans Bridge Home, the work continues every day—and it's the best kind of work they could ask for.
Veterans Bridge Home is on a mission to build stronger communities, one Veteran at a time. And in a city with more than 150,000 Veterans, the nonprofit has plenty to do. Through a network of partners, the organization helps Veterans navigate employment, create social connections, and settle their families.
But it's not just Veterans who benefit—the entire Charlotte community gets better when Veterans make a successful transition from military to civilian life. Just ask Nick Maglosky, CEO of Charlotte-based ecommerce software provider Ecomdash.
Nick was looking for volunteer opportunities for his team last year, and found Veterans Bridge Home on SHARECharlotte.org. The Ecomdash team ended up coming to the VBH office in June of 2018 to make follow-up calls to Veterans who had attended Veterans Bridge Home events.
The Ecomdash team posed for a group photo before they left, and that's when Nick noticed the chin-up bar bolted to some trees in the parking lot. He asked what it was for, and learned about the Wednesday Workouts in the Veterans Bridge Home parking lot for Veterans and supporters. Since that day, Nick has been a regular at the workouts.
"The workout is designed to provide fellowship for our community, and offer a familiar activity for Veterans who live in the area," says Steven Cole, VP of advancement for Veterans Bridge Home. "Having someone who was not in the military regularly attend is important because we believe that Veterans need to get to know more people than just other Veterans if they are to truly transition from the military."
When the Ecomdash team wanted to volunteer for Veterans Bridge Home again this past summer, Nick knew exactly how his team could help. The dip station, an old and rotting picnic table, had fallen into disrepair and they had to throw it out. Nick and his team bought the materials and built a brand-new dip station for Wednesday Workouts.
"We talk about 'being the bridge' for Veterans and their families a lot over here," says Steven Cole. "What we mean is that Veterans Bridge Home can serve as a connector for Veterans and their families to bridge the transition from military to civilian life. But we can’t do it alone. We also ask individuals to be a bridge for others. Whether that bridge is working out with someone new to the area, calling a Veteran to check on them, or building a picnic table that Veterans can use, everyone has something they can give back."
#GivingTuesdayCLT is right around the corner, on December 3. Your Giving Tuesday gift to Veterans Bridge Home can help Veterans throughout the year as they transition from military to civilian life. Donate any time at Veteransbridgehome.org.
Want to get connected today? Join a Wednesday Workout, every week from 5:15-6am at 2200 East 7th Street in Charlotte. The strength and core-focused workout is for all ages and abilities. You can also find a list of their other upcoming events here.Grace Kennedy is a Huntersville-based writer specializing in storytelling for nonprofits. Learn more at gracekennedy.net.