Two years ago members of The Chamber of Commerce, Inc, Windham Region voted to create a charitable foundation to help those that are often underserved in our community. After much thought, the Foundation was created to help four groups of people achieve success: women and girls, artists, veterans and people of color. In June of 2021 we opened the EASTERN CT VETERANS COMMUNITY CENTER. We are currently located at the Chamber’s office, 1010 Main Street, Willimantic but are looking to find a new home that can accommodate our growing number of programs. Please stay connected with us on facebook at EasternCTVeteransCommunityCenter!
Since its inception the center has been helping thousands of veterans in Eastern CT start companies, find jobs, enroll in VA healthcare, apply for disability compensation, get fuel to heat their homes, find housing and work out issues with their veteran benefits. We have provided peer to peer support for sobriety, suicide, PTSD, loss of a loved one, Dementia, and re-entry into civilian life. Our center is run by volunteers, mostly veterans, and is funded through charitable donations. Our veterans visit other vets who are living alone at home, in nursing facilities, or who are in need of companionship. We deliver turkeys at the holidays, have a food pantry, warm clothes closet and professional attire for job seekers.
Our greatest achievement is our weekly coffee house every Wednesday from 9:00-11:00 AM where 50-100 veterans gather to talk, have fun, learn and celebrate their service and their families. We have a variety of speakers, special programs and provide our veterans the ability to speak directly to their legislators and the VA leadership. We invite every veteran, active duty military and their families to our coffee house.
The Foundation’s Community Center has more than just veteran programs. We have a women’s leadership group that meets monthly, a youth safety anti-bullying program, a Latino Coalition that has helped businesses navigate the pandemic and assisted them with applying for grants and loans. Any non-profit, emerging organization, or group of people who need meeting space can use the center. Businesses can meet with clients or use our board rooms for training. And the space is perfect for art, music and creative classes. We currently have a martial arts program every Tuesday and Thursday as well as a Dog Training program on Mondays. Our “COMMUNITY” center is just that…..it’s all about our community and bringing them together in a beautiful, warm and welcoming environment. Please stop by and visit. And if you need a space to meet, consider our home.
If you wish to support any of these programs and the many more not mentioned, you can send a tax-deductible charitable donation to: Windham Region Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 1320 Main Street, Suite 27, Willimantic, CT 06226. Thank you for helping us make a difference!!
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