Volunteering helps V Teamer bridge the gap between military and civilian life
Stuart Hollingsworth, a former U.S. Army Ranger, is helping renovate a D.C. home to house homeless veterans.
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When Lorraine Wright and her daughter Dionne, founders of Sheck’s House, a project for veterans experiencing homelessness, reached out to Verizon for support, V Teamers immediately agreed to the mission. The Sheck’s House project was taken up by VALOR, an employee resource group for active-duty military, veterans, and their families—including Stuart Hollingsworth, a former U.S. Army Ranger. This mission spoke to his heart. “I’m also a veteran who had a rough time transitioning from military to civilian life,” says Hollingsworth, a business intelligence manager at Verizon.
With the Sheck’s House project, Wright is realizing the dream of her grandfather, and Korean War veteran, Corporal Sheck L. Wright. Sheck’s House will transform a once-dilapidated Washington, D.C., home into a residence for veterans struggling to get back on their feet. “It gives me a lot of hope to see folks like Lorraine and Dionne be willing to put in the work to help out the veteran community,” says Hollingsworth.
Over the past several months, Hollingsworth, as project manager, has led the VALOR team’s work on Sheck’s House. More than 65 V Teamers have helped to transform the home with a deep clean, fresh paint, and new ceiling tiles and electrical outlets. They also cleared out the overgrown backyard to reveal a patio. In addition to more than 500 volunteer hours of work by V Teamers, Verizon also contributed $5,000, which Wright intends to use to redo the subfloors and install new carpet.
“The hope is to use this place to house [veterans who are homeless], feed them, and provide them with everything they need to get off the street, as well as walk them through getting disability benefits, veterans benefits, and [vocational training] skills to re-enter the workforce,” Hollingsworth says.
And although VALOR’s aim is to support members of the military, veterans and their families, Hollingsworth himself felt lifted up by the work, done side-by-side with other veterans. “There’s nothing like having those folks come together and move mountains for a great cause,” Hollingsworth says.