Tag Archives: help

Veteran Expo pairs veterans with services

Boston – The Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Bedford VAMC are partnering with the MA Department of Veteran Services and the community to host a benefit and job Expo for those who have served our nation. The Veterans Expo will have many federal, state, and local agencies on hand to explain benefits and programs available to assist Veterans with their transition back into civilian life.

“This event will bring together many government service agencies under one roof to assist our returning service men and women with navigating the often-times confusing benefits process,” said Michael M. Lawson, Director of VA Boston Healthcare System. “These men and women need jobs, support, and answers to their benefit questions; this is just the venue to provide that and much more.”

The Expo will also feature seminars throughout the day on Accessing VA benefits, Life after Deployment, Women Veterans Healthcare, Financial Planning, Communication for Couples, and more.

“Veterans have earned a wealth of benefits from their government and their communities. Ready access to those benefits is an on-going task and the VA Outreach team is there to help our Vets clear a path right through those obstacles,” said David Hencke, Outreach Coordinator for VA Boston Healthcare System. “This Expo is a high-energy, resource packed afternoon for anyone who has ever worn the uniform as well as their families and friends who support them.”

Veterans should bring their resume and proof of military service as there will be many businesses in attendance looking to employ Veterans. In addition, over 40 support agencies will be attending including the Mass. Department of Veteran and Career Services, Veterans Inc., US Department of Health and Human Services, American Consumer Credit Counsel, Army Wounded Warrior Program, Military Family Life Consultants, MA Spiritual Strength Network, Veterans Upward Bound, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and many more. For a comprehensive list of businesses and agencies that will be at the Expo visit our web site www.boston.va.gov.

While at the Expo, Veterans will be able to enroll for VA healthcare and meet with representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration to learn about VA Home Loans, Educational / Post 911 GI Bill Benefits, VA Non-Service Connected Pension Benefits, Service Connected Compensation Benefits from injuries related to military service and Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Benefits. In addition, Veterans will be able to enroll in eBenefits which is a collaboration between the Department of Defense and VA. Our online eBenefits is a one-stop shop for benefits-related on line tools and information.

The Expo is free and will be held at Bunker Hill Community College, from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. on June 20th, at the Multi-Purpose Center, Building G, 250 New Rutherford Ave., Boston.

Tornado response information and resources:

Springfield – There has been an outpouring of interest in how individuals and organizations can learn about, and support, the recovery effort underway in Western and Central Massachusetts. A week later, the recovery effort is fully underway in those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes and storms that moved through the area June 1.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA and Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema. Follow MEMA updates on Facebook and Twitter.

MEMA has designated Mass 2-1-1 as the Commonwealth’s primary telephone information call center during times of emergency.

This important partnership affords citizens the opportunity to access vital, up-to-date disaster information, numerous post-disaster programs, interpreter services, and tracking of caller locations, greatly reducing the number of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1. Residents should continue to use 9-1-1 for emergency or life safety issues. By dialing 2-1-1 in Massachusetts, callers are connected to local services – from food, clothing, and shelter assistance to counseling, legal and financial services, and much more. Learn more about Mass 2-1-1 by visiting: www.mass211.org or find help online by visiting: www.mass211help.org. Mass 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mass 2-1-1 can also be reached by calling 1-877-211-6277.

Mass 2-1-1 is also acting as a central clearinghouse to inform the general public about the needs of communities impacted by the crisis including directing interested callers to volunteer opportunities, as well as to places that will take donations of both money and material goods.

Private homeowners and businesses are encouraged to report damages using the Mass 2-1-1 system. Collection of this damage data is important as the MEMA continues to assess the magnitude of this event and will assist in determining if federal disaster assistance may be available for those property owners and businesses most heavily impacted by this event.

As local officials will be busy assisting their impacted residents recover from this event, reporting damages directly to Mass 2-1-1 will assist MEMA in the damage assessment process. Those calling Mass 2-1-1 will be asked to provide basic information regarding name, address and type of damage.

Clark U community rallies to aid in Japan quake-tsunami relief efforts

The Clark University community sends heartfelt thoughts to all of the people who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The loss of lives and livelihoods is devastating.

“We are saddened by the events that have occurred in Japan,” said President David Angel. “We reach out to all our students, faculty, staff, and alumni with family and friends who have been affected by this disaster.”

Clark has been in touch with their student studying abroad and a number of alumni and friends in Japan, who all have reported they are safe.

“The residents of Japan have been highly distressed by the chain-reaction multiple disasters of a historic proportion, but the outpouring of support from around the world has given them hope for recovery,” said Geography Professor Yuko Aoyama.

Illustrating the effect of the disaster, she continued, “Ten days after the earthquakes and tsunami, 9,000 are known to be dead, 14,000 are still missing, and a quarter of a million people are displaced from their homes and are living in temporary shelters in 16 out of 47 prefectures.”

One way that Clark University is offering support is through the efforts of Clark Labs, directed by Professor Ron Eastman. The Clark Labs team has volunteered to help the Government of Japan and others in their response to the massive earthquake and tsunami by processing satellite images of the Japanese coast. One of the lab team’s before-and-after image analyses revealed a giant SOS on a playing field.

More than 250 students have donated a meal swipe from which $2 will be donated by Clark Dining Services.

Gala and After-Party:
Organizers of the International Gala on April 1 plan to station people at the entrance to collect donations. Major publicity for the popular and free event will also notify attendees of the opportunity to donate money at the door. Also, all proceeds from the International Gala After-Party on April 2 will go to Japanese relief efforts. These efforts are expected to raise thousands of dollars for recovery relief in Japan.

T-shirts Sales:
Eiji Miura ’12 and several other students plan to sell T-shirts as a part of a nationwide initiative called “Action Now Japan.” This initiative provides artwork to be used by college student groups who then sell the T-shirts for $20 apiece. The Clark students will “table” at the Higgins University Center during the next few weeks to take pre-orders. The office of Student Leadership and Planning, under director Michael McKenna, will also email an order request survey.

Student Club Events:
Miura and the students he is working with are accepting donations at various student events by selling baked goods and “passing the hat.” They collected $250 during the “Acappellooza” event March 19, which featured the Clark Bars, Counterpoints, and International Achords student singing groups.

Several other opportunities to help out with disaster relief can be found at this website: http://www.japansocietyboston.org/donatejapan