Boots Home for the Holidays hopes to reconnect military, families

soldiers marching in boots

The Community Coalition of Liberty has established a new program called Boots Home for the Holidays, which will help military personnel and veterans receive financial assistance in getting home to their families for the 2022 holiday season. Funding for the project comes from the Elks Grand Lodge, which offers the Elks Freedom Grant to local chapters.

Freedom Grants must be used to serve veterans and/or military members and their families. Grant projects must serve a population in need. Projects must focus on one of these five areas: employment, homelessness and housing, military families, health, and educational support.

Liberty Elks Lodge #2019 applied and received $1,000. This money will be distributed to qualifying active military members with family living in the jurisdiction of Liberty Elks Lodge #2019; each person will receive $200 toward their travel expenses. 

The idea for this project came from an active Elk, Sandy Perkins, whose son was active duty last year. Perkins’ family was trying to gather funds to get their veteran son, his wife and children, back home to Dayton to spend the holidays with the family.

In the area where Perkins’ son was stationed, the YMCA has a military program. The ASYMCA and Jack Daniels have partnered over the years on Operation Ride Home. Upon hearing of Operation Ride Home, Sandy, Shane Iler, and Jennifer Regen immediately started working on Boots Home for the Holidays.

“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. We just wanted to bless the families in our area,” said Regen. “We want to grow this program. We want to bring these men and women who are currently serving home for a few days to enjoy their families and community. We want to say thank you.” 

If you would like to support, partner, or host an event or program put on by the Community Coalition, please reach out to Jennifer Regen at 713-540-3708.

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