Here at CHS we recognize the importance of giving back and establishing long-lasting relationships with the community around us.
On Friday November 3rd, we connected with The Mass Bay Veteran’s Center (MBVC) located in Somerville, MA. The MBVC provides 22 transitional and 7 permanent housing units to former homeless veterans. Similar to our own, the MBVC is a supportive community where veterans can recuperate, connect and build relationships with one another, and receive the support they need to live meaningful and independent lives. When we asked if we could come by to deliver baked goods for the Veterans Day holiday, not only did they say “Yes!”, they also invited us to stay for a big celebratory breakfast that they were hosting for the veterans!
The following week, four different CHS homes began to organize to make some homemade baked goods. We made healthy oatmeal energy bites, coconut dark chocolate cookie bars, chocolate flax cookies and classic chocolate chip cookies. All of these goodies were nut free and sugar free, as we are always encouraging healthy alternatives to teach our individuals the importance of a balanced diet. Individuals from other programs also participated in the fun, baking homemade sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies and brownies.
On Thursday, November 9th, we headed to the veteran’s center at 9 am. The individuals who participated in the baking activities delivered their treats and then joined the table to share breakfast and stories with the veterans. Al formerly worked at the Soldier’s Field Home in Chelsea, MA and was especially excited to join in the celebration! Bill and Francis also joined us for breakfast. Sharing this time with the veterans meant a lot to Bill especially because in his earlier years he also worked as a volunteer at another local veteran’s home.
Individuals from six of our homes participated in this project and were all invited back to visit again soon! Establishing these community connections and building relationships is so meaningful to our individuals, and we are grateful to have had this opportunity to celebrate Veteran’s Day with these special members of our community.