Archive for October, 2014

Veteran’s Day Special at Cranwell Resort to Benefit Soldier On

In honor of Veteran’s Day, stay at Cranwell on Tuesday, 11/11, for just $99* and they’ll donate half the proceeds to Soldier On. Plus for each room reservation, they’re giving a complimentary round of golf for two with cart that can be used during the 2015 season*.

Reserve on line or call 800-272-6935.

*Plus tax and resort fee. Rate is for Classic Resort King or Double, based on availability.  This rate is not applicable for group blocks and cannot be combined with any other discount. Complimentary golf will be valid May 1 – October 31, 2015 excluding Saturdays and July/August.
For more information on the deal visit


HBO and Starbucks Salute US Veterans and their Families with the Concert for Valor

LIVE ON THE NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TUESDAY, NOV. 11Live talent to include Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Metallica, John Oliver, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, among others, as well as special appearances by Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg at concert to honor the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families
Concert to be Executive Produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks and Joel Gallen

NEW YORK AND SEATTLE (OCT. 2, 2014) – HBO and Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced today they will host THE CONCERT FOR VALOR, a first-of-its-kind concert to honor the courage and sacrifice of America’s veterans and their families on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to be presented live on HBO this Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11 (7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT).
The concert will feature a broad array of talent from the worlds of music and entertainment, including Eminem, Jamie Foxx, Dave Grohl, Metallica, John Oliver, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band, as well as special appearances by Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, among many others.

THE CONCERT FOR VALOR will provide a national stage for ensuring that veterans and their families know that their fellow Americans’ gratitude is genuine. Millions of people, including veterans, active duty service members, their families and Americans from all walks of life are expected to watch the free concert in person or on television, with the goal of raising awareness for veterans service organizations dedicated to education, wellness, reemployment and reintegration. The event will be presented from the National Mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, and HBO will offer its affiliates the opportunity to open the signal, allowing nonsubscribers to view the special. Former US Secretary of Defense and Starbucks board member Robert Gates and former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen are serving in an advisory capacity with regard to veterans outreach and veteran service organizations that will be recipients of concert donations.
The live event will be executive produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks and Joel Gallen, who will also direct. Hanks, who devoted his time and talent to support the construction of the World War II Memorial, has, with Goetzman, executive produced such projects as the Emmy®-winning HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” “Band of Brothers” and “John Adams,” as well as the HBO music specials “The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert” and the recent “2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” both of which were directed by Gallen.
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said, “We are honored to play a small role to help raise awareness and support for our service men and women. Their immeasurable sacrifice deserves our nation’s gratitude. This event will not only celebrate their service, but help remind Americans of the
many challenges they face on and off the battlefield. We are delighted to join with Starbucks in our mutual effort to pay tribute to our veterans and those serving in the military.”
Starbucks chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz said, “The post-9/11 years have brought us the longest period of sustained warfare in our nation’s history. The less than one percent of Americans who volunteered to serve during this time have afforded the rest of us remarkable freedoms – but that freedom comes with a responsibility to understand their sacrifice, to honor them and to appreciate the skills and experience they offer when they return home. As many now seek reemployment, now is the time to offer them opportunities to work in our communities to do what they do best: solve problems and lead with selfless service. THE CONCERT FOR VALOR represents a significant and historic opportunity to demonstrate our country’s potential to come together as a nation, and do right by those who have done so much for us. They’ve stepped up. Now it’s our turn.”
Last November, Starbucks committed to hiring at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. In April, the Schultz Family Foundation, co-founded by Schultz and his wife, Sheri, committed $30 million to support veterans’ transition to civilian life. Schultz is also co-authoring “For Love of Country,” which reports on the sacrifices veterans have made, the bravery and leadership they demonstrate, and the huge economic benefit and opportunity that transitioning veterans bring to American communities and companies. The book, co-written with Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post, will be published by Knopf and available nationwide in early November. The authors will donate proceeds from the sale of the book to veterans service organizations. You can learn more about the book here: HBO has a long history of original programming devoted to supporting veterans and examining veterans’ experiences from diverse perspectives. In addition to the miniseries “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” the network has presented the original movies “Taking Chance” and “The Tuskegee Airmen,” the miniseries “Generation Kill,” and the documentaries “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq,” “Wartorn 1861-2010,” “Baghdad ER,” “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery,” “Crisis Hotline: Veterans 1” and the upcoming “The Last Patrol,” among many others. HBO and Starbucks are proud to present THE CONCERT FOR VALOR with the support of the Trust for the National Mall. As the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, the Trust is committed to preserving the sacred space where America’s military veterans are honored and free speech – both spoken and sung – is protected. The Trust will provide event volunteers and logistical assistance to support the concert and preserve the grounds of the National Mall.
While less than one percent of American adults serve in the U.S. military today, there are currently more than 20 million American veterans. This includes more than 2.5 million 9/11-era veterans who are facing a range of challenges as they make the transition back to civilian life.

About HBO
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 127 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the most popular subscription video-on-demand products, HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand® as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 70 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at
For more information on this news release, contact us.

HBO New York: Quentin Schaffer or Tobe Becker (212) 512-1329 or 5492
HBO Los Angeles: Nancy Lesser or Mara Mikialian (310) 382-3274 or 3276
Starbucks: Corey duBrowa or Laurel Harper (206) 318-7100 or


Carole Brown Success Story

Carole Brown is a 67-year-old U.S. Army veteran who found herself in need of Soldier On’s help.  Having served during the Vietnam Era, Carole was about to be discharged from the East Orange, NJ VA Medical Center and had no place to go.

She was homeless, had no clothing and no money.  In April 2014, a representative from the East Orange VA called Soldier On on her behalf, and a Soldier On case manager visited her four times over the next few weeks to go over housing applications prior to her scheduled discharge.

However, when she was discharged on May 19, she still did not have any place to go. A  Soldier On peer mentor picked her up and brought her to the Union County Department of Social Services to try to get money for a hotel room. She was denied assistance because of her income and their next stop was Chase Bank to set up an account for Carole.  At the same time, her Soldier On caseworker reached out on her behalf to Doug Breen at the Middlesex County Veterans Office. He and the local VFW chapter agreed to pay for her placement in a motel until she had housing secured.

The next day, Kirsten, her caseworker, brought Carole to three housing appointments. They were able to find an available apartment at the Westlake Mews complex in Jackson, which agreed to waive the application fee.  Carole however needed to get her identification and earnings documents from her old apartment to complete the application and move into the apartment.  The new tenant there, however, informed Carole that all of her belongings had been thrown away.  That night, Carole spent her second night at the motel. Kirsten created an email address and online accounts to the VA and the Social Security Administration for Carole to provide documentation for the application.

On May 21, Westlake Mews Apartment Complex approved Carole’s application and Kirsten made an appointment for the following day to sign her lease. Heather brought Carole to the Social Security Office to receive a re-issued Social Security card, and then to the Elijah’s Promise shop to pick up some clothing.  That night Carole spent her third and final night at the motel.

On May 22, just three days after Carole was discharged from the hospital, Carole moved into her new apartment. Carole’s Social Security and VA checks had not yet been deposited into her new bank account so Soldier On provided Westlake Mews with Carole’s security deposit and first month’s rent. Since then, Carole’s checks have been deposited.  She now has a home and income.

A food pantry in Toms River, NJ supplied Carole with eight bags of groceries. Her new property manager gave her furniture for the new apartment. Generous neighbors also came through, giving Carole some necessities that she was lacking. By the end of the day, she had a recliner, towels, toiletries, and basic supplies for her apartment.

Carole was now well supplied, with an income, and a secure apartment.


VA Awards $15,772,140 to Soldier On

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that it has awarded a new $3 million to Soldier On, the western-Massachusetts based agency for homeless veterans, to expand its programming for Supportive Services for Veteran Families in Pittsfield and Berkshire County.

The new grant will be operational immediately and was awarded over a three-year period. It follows the award announced last month of $12,772,140 in renewed grants for Soldier On’s current SSVF programming serving veterans in 36 counties in eastern upstate and central New York, 23 counties in western Pennsylvania, 8 counties in New Jersey, 76 counties in Mississippi, and four in western Massachusetts.  Each of those areas received $2 million while the four western counties of Western Massachusetts received $772,000.

The new award was announced today by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald as part of $207 million in SSVF grants nationwide that will help an additional 70,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families that will be distributed to 82 non-profit agencies. Additional funding for targeting high-need communities with high numbers of homeless veterans is also included.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to using evidence based approaches such as SSVF to prevent homelessness and produce successful outcomes for veterans and their families,” McDonald said. “This is a program that works, because it allows VA staff and local homeless service providers to work together to address the unique challenges that make it difficult for some veterans and their families to remain stably housed.”

Soldier On received its first SSVF grant in October 2011.  It now reaches approximately 3,500 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the five states.

Under its innovative concept, Soldier On equips teams of mobile rapid-response units that deliver its intake and supportive services directly to the veteran households. The SSVF grants enable the agency to provide supportive services, outreach in the community and, with the VA, case management, assistance with obtaining VA benefits and other services. Also covered are assistance with obtaining health care, financial planning, transportation, legal services and housing counseling. In addition, these grants may also provide temporary financial assistance for rent, security and utility deposits, utility fees, moving costs, child care, and emergency services.

“Soldier On is proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Administration in serving the veterans of Berkshire County, “Soldier On President and CEO John F. Downing said. This particular grant allows us to serve the most vulnerable of the veterans in an attempt to achieve housing stability and life-long security in the Berkshire community by utilizing VA resources in conjunction with community-based systems of care so that veterans can remain housed and not ever face homelessness again.”

“I would also like to express my gratitude for the support of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and Representatives John McGovern and Richie Neal,” Downing added.

The SSVF grants are part of the VA’s goal to end homelessness by 2015, which has been reduced by 33 percent since 2010, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. With a success rate of 84 percent, and an average cost per veteran family of only $2,480, the SSVF program is a low-cost, high-impact way to make successful interventions.

Soldier On also provides safe and supportive transitional housing for approximately 225 veterans in Pittsfield, MA and Leeds, MA, and permanent cooperative housing at its 39-unit Gordon H. Mansfield Community in Pittsfield. Its multi-faceted approach to meeting the needs of veterans also includes transitional housing for women veterans and a Women’s Wellness Center, 45 hours of weekly programming for incarcerated veterans at the Albany (NY) House of Correction, and a comprehensive transportation services program.

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