The last Friday of each month a group of armed services veterans, spouses, and widows of veterans gather for a lunch, program, and fellowship at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Berea. The group represents every branch of service and veterans of every war going back to WWII. The Veteran’s Meet and Greet was started two years ago. The initial lunch hosted just eight people. Today it has grown to more than 100. The lunch is staffed by volunteers from St. Thomas Parish, who prepare the meal and clean up afterward. The St. Thomas Outreach Committee who oversees the program hopes to reduce the isolation and loneliness experienced by many veterans, as well as provide information on topics such as planning for retirement, assisted living, nursing homes, income tax preparation, and estate planning.
The Outreach Committee collaborates with many other organizations such as the Veterans Administration, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts, and numerous other churches to promote the program and to ensure relevant topics and services. In addition, St. Thomas holds monthly collections of personal and household items for veterans who may be in need.
The Rev. David Radzik, Rector of St. Thomas, said, “We are honored to be able to show our gratitude to these men and women for their service and sacrifice.”
The program is funded in part by a grant from Episcopal Community Services. Your gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal make these grants possible. Each year $100,000 from the appeal is directed to support community programs in our parishes. Your generosity is an investment in this work. For more information about the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, please contact Betty Kondrich