A Facebook post asking for help with supplies for Home of the Brave in Milford has given the Veterans transitional residence some relief, but officials there hope for more to restock their cabinets and get them through the holidays and into 2024.
The post on Delaware Free Stuff (Angels Among Us) asked for everyday housekeeping supplies, food items and side items for a Thanksgiving dinner.
They include soaps and detergents, paper products, trash bags, cooking sprays, oil, eggs, milk, bread, spaghetti and other pantry staples.
The need is crucial, said Steve Horn, kitchen manager for Home of the Brave, partly because of limited government support for the nonprofit that helps Veterans transition from homelessness into a more stable life with jobs and a residence.
He spoke for the house because executive director Heather Travitz was out sick.
As of Friday, the house had 14 male residents, five female residents and two children, an infant and a 13-year-old, with a short waiting list for rooms.
Home of the Brave’s supplies tend to go from feast to famine, said Samantha Morris, Horn’s stepdaughter who posted on Delaware Free Stuff.
“It’s full and then it’s not full,” she replied to one commenter. “With 15 men and 5 women they go through a lot each week.”
Horn said one woman from the Felton area bought $100 of towels, washcloths and toiletries on her way to the home to donate.
Some people have been looking at the list and sending items from Amazon directly to the home at 6632 Sharps Road, Milford 19963. Donations also may be dropped off there.
One big donation that came in, said Horn, is 20 turkeys from Procter & Gamble in Dover.
Now, Horn said, he’s hoping someone will be able to donate a chest freezer so he can freeze some of the turkeys and other donations for Christmas and New Year’s dinners.
Canned and other goods can be kept in a supply shed, he said.
The donated household items don’t need to be new, Morris said in the post.
“If anyone is getting ready to throw away items that are in good condition, or replacing items, please look at the list,” she said. “Any local places willing to donate gift cards to clothing stores or food stores will be appreciated as well.”
Home of the Brave allows residents to stay about two years, but many leave in six months to a year, Horn said.
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The house is outside Milford, essentially in a cornfield, Horn said, where they can all see the stars without light pollution of more populated areas.
“A lot of these residents find a lot of peace and serenity in this environment, because it’s quiet,” Horn said. “On a clear night, the stars will burn your eyes. It’s so beautiful here.”
The 30-year-old organization works to connect the Veterans with services they need and may not have known about or could not access.
Staff members take them to appointments for those and also to doctor’s appointments and job interviews while working to find the training, housing and jobs, Horn said.
It’s been humbling and gratifying that people care about what happens to the Veterans in the house, Horn said.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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