Patti Persia, a real estate appraiser and travel agent in Milford, was looking for a way to give back to the community during the holiday season. She considered adopting a family until she learned about Home of the Brave, an organization that operates two shelters for veterans in Milford.
“As soon as I learned that these veterans would be living on the streets if it were not for Home of the Brave, I knew what I wanted to do,” Ms. Persia said. “I find it terrible that we in this country are so quick to help people from other countries while some of our veterans have no homes.” Ms. Persia contacted several of her friends, including Maggie Mae, owner of Milford and Friends Antique Market, and her holiday project began.
Until December 18, the women are collecting items to be placed in gift baskets for the 20 residents of the two locations of Home of the Brave. The baskets will be given to the 15 men living in the shelter on Sharp’s Road, while three baskets will go to women and two to children living in the shelter on Causey Avenue. In 2013, the Home of the Brave Foundation opened a new homeless women’s veteran’s shelter on Causey Avenue in Milford, providing transitional housing for homeless female veterans.
“We are asking for simple things, but we need enough of each thing so that all the baskets are the same,” Ms. Persia explained. “According to the director of the facility, they need simple things like socks, bathroom items like shampoo, lotions or deodorant or even gift cards that can be used at local stores. We will also accept baked goods to provide these residents with a basket that makes them think of Christmas.” Ms. Persia says they are also asking for toys, games and unisex gift items for children aged between 7 and 12.
In addition, Ms. Persia says that Home of the Brave will accept good-quality used items as one of the services they offer is to help veterans find housing as part of their program. They will accept any household item in good condition, although they do request that items such as bath towels and linens be new.
All items donated for the gift baskets should be small enough that the fit in a basket. For anyone who wants to donate, the group is asking that at least 15 men’s items, three women’s items and two children’s items of each type be given. Items may be dropped off at Milford and Friends Antique Shop located on Walnut Street in downtown Milford by December 18.