Citizens/Veterans Advisory Council of Cape May County (CVAC) officially began on February 22, 2013 with our first meeting to define our mission and primary goals. Our mission is “to promote awareness of veteran’s needs and to identify proper resources for referrals that support these needs to enhance the lives of our veterans.” Our initial central concentration was on the three key issues concerning veterans of all ages in Cape May County—Homelessness, Transportation, and Veteran’s Benefits.
Over the years we have offered yearly events that bring together providers of services and employers in November. These events provide resources desperately needed by veterans and their families and provide a way for service organizations and employers to connect with veterans.
We work with local non-profit and for profit organizations to secure needed services. For example, we were instrumental in securing a second van for the Disabled American Veterans. Thanks to Burke Motor Group, who made the initial donation of $10,000 and to the many local organizations and individuals who made this van a reality. Five days a week this van takes our veterans to doctor’s appointments at VA clinics and the VA hospitals in Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE.
Weekly we receive requests from veterans in immediate need. For example, a veteran needed rent until his first paycheck. Another veteran, on a fixed income, needed help when his car repair expense exceeded his ability to pay. He needed $900.00, because he has doctor’s appointments for his multiple sclerosis and he takes his five-year old daughter to school. The stories are endless, but as of September 2015 we have helped 23 individuals avoid homelessness, get needed VA benefits, or obtain transportation. This was all done on the donations of individuals and veteran organizations. We received our 501c status in January of 2016 so we will be able to fundraise and help more veterans and their families.