When veterans are in need, the community comes together to help. The air conditioning system at the home of former U.S. Marine Horras Sheffield and his wife, Willie Mae, didn’t work but they couldn’t afford to replace the unit. After a big storm came through the area a couple of years ago, there was damage to their home and they were just never able to catch up on much-needed repairs.
Thanks to a collaboration of Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, spearheaded by program manager Todd Hughes, University of South Florida’s Sarasota-Manatee’s Office of Veteran Success, represented by program administrator Carlos Moreira, and Veteran Air Conditioning owner Kevin Henault, the Sheffields had a new system installed recently – at no cost to them.
Funds from Goodwill’s SERV (Special Emergency Resources for Veterans) Fund was used to purchase the materials and labor was donated by Veteran Air Conditioning. Henault – a veteran who has been engaged with Goodwill for years and serves on Goodwill’s Veterans Services Advisory Board as well as on the newly-formed Goodwill Advisory Council – has done similar good deeds in the past for veterans served by Goodwill’s veterans’ program.
Mr. Sheffield is a decorated veteran, earning the Purple Heart National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal. He has lived in Sarasota since 1966; the couple built their current home in 1975. Sheffield, a 27-year Allstate Insurance agent, became a self-employed entrepreneur, opening numerous businesses, including restaurants, a liquor store, a gas station and a nightclub. In 2001, he joined the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and became its first Black chairman. The couple has deep roots and involvements in this community.
“It is our duty to serve those who first served us,” said Hughes. “Through the Veterans Services Program, we are dedicated to providing whatever a veteran might need, whether it’s career services, opportunities to network with others who understand their challenges, housing, food or emergency financial assistance. I am so happy that we were able to make this happen for Mr. and Mrs. Sheffield!”
Further support – financial and hands-on – is being sought to help replace the Sheffields’ roof and repair drywall damage. Contact Moreira for details: 941-359-4291 or email@example.com.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.