By Lisa Marie DeJonge, Program Manager, Community Services IVMF
Just wanted to update everyone on my visit yesterday in Fayetteville, NC. Fayetteville, NC is in Cumberland County and home to Ft. Bragg a major Army installation, they are known to have the largest per capita veteran population in the country!
I’ll start with the nature of the visit. I received an invite from Bo Martin from The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in Fayetteville, NC. WWP wanted to host a luncheon where they invited all of the community providers from Fayetteville to their office for a light discussion around how to collaborate better.
We had the opportunity to listen to several WWP Program Managers talk about their respective programs. I think it was great for the other community providers who felt that in the past – they did not know what WWP did specifically, nor do they know who qualified. Much of that seemed to get cleared up yesterday. The other providers got to ask a lot of questions, and the WWP staff were able to clarify the individual programs and eligibility.
After the WWP presentation, we went around the room and everyone had the opportunity to spend five minutes talking about their respective organization and individual programs. Here are some of the organizations in attendance:
Student Veterans of America
Veterans Court (Read the Fay Observer: First graduation yesterday and Judge Olivera made the paper recently for spending the night in jail with a veteran sent to jail) (Great stuff happening here!)
USO of NC
American Red Cross
Veterans Empowering Veterans
Fayetteville Vet Center
The consensus was very clear, they want to be more connected. As we went around the room it became very evident to everyone that they are all offering somewhat of the same services. They may have a little twist when it comes to eligibility, engagement or what their service plan looks like.
I think it worked out well that I waited to go at the end. Linda from American Red Cross went right before me and gave me a great Segway by pointing out the obvious, she said it was great that everyone is doing everything they do – but we need a way to coordinate and collaborate everything we do. I followed up with what AmericaServes is, what IVMF and Unite US’s roles are, the empowerment it brings to the community and what the movement is focused on – collective impact.
I gathered several cards from folks that I think we should invite to our event in Jacksonville, NC on the 25th !