STVSG President’s Annual Report for 2016
The Southern Tier Veterans Support Group had another successful year providing life-changing support to our local veterans, service members and their families. We continue to provide a unique capability to help our veterans, many of whom are returning to our communities after their service to our country.
In 2016, we again saw an increase in the number of veterans who needed our help. We help veterans from all services and eras. Last year we provided more than $93,000 dollars to help hundreds of our local veterans with a broad range of needs, which included housing, employment, transportation, education and bill-paying assistance. We also provided gift cards to several agencies, including the Binghamton Vet Center, Binghamton VA Clinic and the Veteran Services Agencies in the nine counties we serve. All the money donated to STVSG stays within these counties and more than 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to help our veterans.
Our Mission Statement allows us to provide a broad range of assistance to our veterans and their families. For example, we helped a disabled veteran increase his mobility and quality of life by paying for the purchase and installation of a wheelchair lift for his truck. STVSG is often able to provide assistance that other organizations are unable to provide.
Our network of Affiliates is the foundation of STVSG and continues to grow. We collaborate with more than seventy other organizations to better serves our veterans.
We are working with other community and local government groups on several strategic projects. We continue to be an active participant on the Binghamton Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Commission to End Veteran Homelessness. Binghamton was the first city to have all veterans in permanent housing in October 2014. Not satisfied with that accomplishment, the Committee initiated the purchase of a two-story building at 27 Pine Street in Binghamton. This building will house ten veterans and renovation is scheduled to be completed in May 2017. STVSG donated more than $11,000 to purchase stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers for the residents to use.
We also worked with the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce to hold the first ever seminar, “Connecting Veterans to Our Business Community”, to discuss ways to improve employment of our local veterans. This event, held on 4 November 2016, was attended by more than 50 community leaders and featured a panel representing SUNY Broome, the US Navy, Broome County Veterans’ Service Agency, Lockheed Martin and the New York State Department of Labor. We are currently working on ideas and actions generated at this event and are planning our second seminar for November 2017.
We are very blessed to have so many generous individual and corporate supporters. For example, on 13 August 2016, Tioga Downs held their sixth annual Concert and Military Appreciation Weekend to recognize veterans and raise much needed funds for their needs.
We have completed a major update to our website. It now provides the capability to accept online donations and to securely process Requests for Assistance. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
Thanks to all of you for everything you do to support our veterans and their families. With your continued support, I’m sure 2017 will be our best year yet!
President, Southern Tier Veterans Support Group