All Haverhill veterans attending a free event next month will walk away with electronic gear and, possibly, a grand prize of a flat screen television, sound bar, laptop computer or other top gift.
Veterans now have until Friday, July 14, to register for what’s being called a “Give Back” day sponsored by the Haverhill Veteran Services Office and iPods for Wounded Veterans. Despite the name, Veteran Services Director Jeffrey C. Hollett, who appeared on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” show, says the program is for all veterans.
“The number one frequently asked question is, ‘I’m not a wounded veteran or I’m not a disabled veteran. So, this doesn’t apply to me?’ That’s not true. To really understand this, you have to understand the background of iPods for Veterans as an organization,” he says.
Hollett went on to explain the start of iPods for Veterans.
“In 2011, two veterans by the names of Paul Cardello and John Parker got together and said ‘Hey. Let’s take a trip down to Washington D.C. and go to Walter Reed. We have 32 IPods and we want to give them to veterans at Walter Reed.’ When they did that, they realized, real quickly ‘Hey, we don’t have enough iPods.’ The veterans were approaching them as they were leaving the medical center and they wanted these iPods. So, they came back to Boston, they raised some more money and they went back down to Walter Reed and made sure they had enough iPods for every veteran that was in the hospital,” he explains.
That was 12 years ago, and things have changed.
“But, today they give out more than just iPods. They give out mp3 players, tablets, headphones; they provide letters, magazines, hats. They are doing all kinds of great things, but when they created their organization they created it under this name called iPods for Wounded Veterans, which is a chartered organization. So, it often leads to that question ‘Is that what they do” They’re just giving away IPods?’ No, they’re giving away a lot more,” Hollett adds.
There are three tiers of raffles planned for the event, with all veterans guaranteed to win one. Hollett is using the opportunity to talk with Haverhill veterans he hasn’t previously met and explain benefits for which they may be eligible.
Registration deadline has been extended to July 14 for veterans and an optional guest for the “Give Back” Saturday, Aug. 5, with check in taking place between 11:15 and 11:45 a.m., at AmVets Post 147, 576 Primrose St., Haverhill.
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