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Heartland Pioneers Volunteers Help Again on the 31st TurkeyFest

Thirty-one years ago the Omaha Works Pioneers started TurkeyFest with the Salvation Army. They provided the place to hold TurkeyFest and the Pioneers provided the rest. Things have changed but the Pioneer are still here volunteering and providing some help with the supplies. Below is the coverage by KMTV’s of the 2022 TurkeyFest

Salvation Army’s 31st annual TurkeyFest helping hundreds of Omaha seniors in need
Story by Kalé Searcy

OMAHA, Neb. —Since 1991, the Salvation army’s 31st annual Turkeyfest helping Omaha seniors in need has helped provide dinner on Thanksgiving.

And for almost every year since, Douglas Thoms has been there as a volunteer.

“We had people that actually came into the Salvation Army, and we would feed them as they came through the line,” he said.

Thoms remembers the program providing just a few meals, but now they’re sending out over 1,000 across the metro.

“It’s changed then. Now we put it in a Styrofoam container, and we send it out to each individual’s home, which is different because each year the number of people that need help grows,” Thoms said.

Kevin Newlin has been the Salvation Army’s chef for 14 years, spending the days before Thanksgiving in the kitchen.

“It takes about three and a half, four days. And then on Wednesday night, we start coming in and blanching the green beans, getting the potatoes ready, making the stuffing, and everything’s from scratch here. So, we try to make it as delicious as possible,” Newlin said.

Newlin said since his start, this year came with its own set of challenges when it came to getting everything on his shopping list.

“The supply and demand of turkeys has been a nightmare this year. We had to go back to whole turkeys. I couldn’t find the normal turkey that we use, and then inflation, it just put a price tag on all the items that we had to, you know, purchase with a smart mind,” he said.

But Newlin said the focus was to stay on budget to meet the growing need in the metro. And for almost every year since, Douglas Thoms has been there as a volunteer.

“We had people that actually came into the Salvation Army, and we would feed them as they came through the line,” he said.

Thoms remembers the program providing just a few meals, but now they’re sending out over 1,000 across the metro.

“It’s changed then. Now we put it in a Styrofoam container, and we send it out to each individual’s home, which is different because each year the number of people that need help grows,” Thoms said.

Kevin Newlin has been the Salvation Army’s chef for 14 years, spending the days before Thanksgiving in the kitchen.

Repost from KETV

New Outlook Board Director Takes an Honor Flight to Washington, DC.

Elaine Housley, New Outlook Board Director, took an honor flight trip to Washington DC with a plane full of veterans on Thursday, November 3, 2022. It was the 118th trip for the Honor Flight Columbus organization.

Stops in Washington DC included:
Marine Corps War Memorial – Imo Jima
Air Force Memorial
Navy Memorial
World War II Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including changing of the guard ceremony
Women’s Memorial

I escorted two Vietnam era veterans: Ronnie Workman and Bob Snyder

Included in the trip were 83 veterans, 43 guardians, and 27 staff (including medical staff, bus drivers, and multiple Battelle members who were covering the cost of the trip.

We met at the airport at 6am and experienced a delay in taking our flight due to heavy fog. Upon arrival at the Washington DC airport, we were split into three buses to take us to the various sites. Return flight landed around 8:30pm to a huge crowd of well-wishers thanking the vets for their time in the military. At the Columbus airport, we were met by a band and many, many family members and friends.

We never ran out of food or drink with three full meals and multiple snacks throughout the day.

Although it was mentioned during the training of the “guardians” we were supposed to keep our veterans close, keep them safe, and make sure that no one got hurt or lost. I personally had over 12,500 steps on my odometer when I got on the flight home. Lots of walking to see the various sites.

The crowds that greeted us at the airports and the stops during the trip were quite large.

We had told to prepare for wet or cold weather but we were greeted by “sweater weather” and sunshine allowing us to also see the autumn foliage in the area. Although the walks and steps took some effort, we had enough time to stop and see most of each of the locations, walk through the areas around the various facilities, and occasionally rest during our walks.

I would encourage all veterans to make this trip, if possible. If you’re not a veteran, please consider becoming a guardian taking care of a couple of the veterans on the flight. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Elaine Housley

Pioneers John D Burlie Club Takes Part in Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down

Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down was held on Tuesday, October 18,2022 at the Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The John D Burlie Club Pioneers was represented by President Jerry Dunbar and Bobbie Hall-Refinati.

Tables were set up Monday with help from American Legion Auxiliary #430 and American Legion #797, We brought socks, gloves, hats, scarves and other items for distribution.

The doors opened at 7:30am. 450 Veterans were served (349 men, 101 women). The event stayed open until all the supplies were distributed, which was around 10am. Lunch was served to all, and the event was a great place to meet Veterans and their families.

There is a plan for a Stand Down next year, and we plan to participate again and Dan Willis, Executive Director, thanked everyone to know that the Coat Sales starts in stores the third week of January and purchasing for next year’s event would be appreciated.

Central Ohio Veterans Stand Down is scheduled for October 17th, 2023.

Submitted by Bobbie Hall-Refinati

On Our 111th Anniversary Happy Pioneers Day!

On November 2, 1911, when the civic-minded leaders of the young telecommunications industry created Pioneering, they couldn’t have imagined that the group they founded, in a hotel ballroom in Boston, would grow into a world-class volunteer organization over a century later. But Pioneers did grow. And just as telecommunications technology has evolved over the decades, so have the Pioneers. Both have changed the world – from how we communicate to how we help our communities every day. Whatever challenges the future holds, our communities can count on one constant truth: Pioneers will always be there to answer the call for help.

On this 111th anniversary of our founding, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do every day to keep this organization relevant and alive. I truly believe that we can make this organization stronger and better for years to come because we have the right people (YOU!) on the board to make this happen.

I just want you to truly realize and understand that the work you do matters and makes a difference. I appreciate you all very much.

Laura

8547 East Arapahoe Road, Unit J-312

Greenwood Village, CO   80112

Laura Whitlock | Executive Director | 303-571-9260

 www.pioneersvolunteer.org


Cozy Wraps Keeps Making Much Needed Items to Donate to Those in Need

This fall on September 15, Carolyn delivered 22 baby blankets to Lydia House investing 342 volunteer hours, on September 29 she had 2 scarfs, 8 head bands and 5 scarf/headband set she delivered taking 33 hours to make. Gwen accepted the baby blankets for Lydia house. Then on October 6 she delivered 6 lap robes/shoulder wraps to Heritage Ridge. Carolyn noted that she took 81 hours to make these items. Her volunteer hours totaled 456 for the items she made and donated. Chapter president Bob Wolkins thanked Carolyn for making and delivering these items. The hours were added to the Cozy Wraps total for the current year.

Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins – Photos by Bob Wolkins

Nancy Domina Continues Making Scarves to Donate to the Salvation Army

Hooks & Needles Nancy Domina continued making scarves to donate to the Salvation Army this past summer and early fall. During the week of October 23, 2022 she delivered 78 scarves to the Salvation Army location in Omaha, NE. Nancy invested a total of 2,100 hours making the 78 scarves. Together they loaded seven boxes of scarves in her SUV for deliver. Nancy thanked her daughter Laura – who has been her driver to pick up the yarn at Betty’s house – and also delivery of the scarves to the Salvation Army on 108th street just north of Dodge. Laura donated two blankets while we were there. Nancy turned her hours and number of scarves into Betty Golmanavich temporary leader of the hooks & and needles. Betty emailed Nancy back and thanked her for making the scarves and her work as a volunteer for the Group and the Heartland Pioneers formerly of the Omaha Works.


Submitted by Nancy Domina photos by Melvin Domina

osts

NRLN Presidents Podcast – Things to Think About for Medicare Enrollment

NRLN President’s Forum Video/Podcast Things to Think About for Medicare Enrollment   The NRLN’s Series 2022, Episode #4 video/podcast, Preparation for Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is available on the NRLN website home page at www.nrln.org. My objective for this video/podcast is to emphasize the importance of being prepared for the enrollment period October 15 – December7 and to provide tips on how to do that so you can get the best deal.  

Don’t feel rushed, you don’t have to make final decisions early, for new coverage beginning January 1, 2023. Don’t succumb to the pressure of direct calls, TV commercials, or literature in your mailbox.  

Preparation is important whether you are considering selecting Original Medicare with or without a supplemental plan (Medigap) and a prescription drug plan or your other option, a private plan, Medicare Advantage. Get prepared before you call an insurance agent or an advertised 800 number!  

The most important step is to read and understand your copy of “Medicare and You 2023” handbook. Studying it could save you time and money, and it will build your confidence and competence. If you did not get the 2023 handbook in the mail you can get one by requesting it at www.Medicare.gov or download it by simply clicking on the icon at the lower end of the center column at www.nrln.org.  

In the video/podcast I stress:
— Examine your economic situation, your affordability status
— Current health stats and prospects for continued good health 10 years from now
— Health history review of ancestors  

The rest of the video/podcast goes into details explaining our two choices, Original Medicare or a private plan, Medicare Advantage. After you view the video or listen to the podcast, you may want to refer to my show notes, including slides, to read details that may have passed to quickly. Click here to access the show notes on the NRLN video library webpage.  

Bill Kadereit,
President National Retiree Legislative Network

Heartland Council Pioneers LML 23 August 2022

August 23, 2022

Today at approximately 10:30 am the doors to the DC Centre Banquet Facility opened for the second Heartland Pioneers Life Member Luncheon of 2022. More than a hundred attendees enjoyed visiting and catching up with what has been taking place in their lives since the last LML this spring. Chair Judy Coffey opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance and gave a blessing. She had a couple of the chairs give a short report on what their groups were engaged in now. During this time the salads were distributed to all and then came the attendees selection of their meals either baked chicken or beef on rice. The dessert was a layer cake of chocolate or vanilla with a cream filling served by the waiters.

The highlight was Betty Golmanavich of the Hooks and Needles introducing Sharron Bailey who for years has made baby, cancer, youth and Quilts of Valor. Her specialty is quilts for kid cancer patients in the Omaha area. The Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) was founded in 2003 by Catherine Roberts, its mission was to cover our nation’s military touched by war – that is, to cover them with quilts and honor their service. After she showed a quilt to the group she donated the quilt to one of the attendees of the luncheon. Sharron noted that from the first of the year to the end of August she have made and delivered 70 quilts.

There was a drawing of four free luncheon meals for the Christmas LML on December 6, 2022. The officers of the Heartland Council wish to thank all that chose to have lunch with us today and hope to see all again at our Christmas Luncheon.

In conjunction with the Life Member Luncheon the Pioneers hold a food drive and ask those attending to bring staples to the luncheon to donate to the Salvation Army. Chapter president Bob Wolkins reported that when he delivered the food items to the Salvation Army he was able to fill two grocery carts with the donations from the luncheon. The lady at the Salvation Army told Bob it was hard today to put a value on the food and assured him the two grocery carts had a estimated 100 pounds of food.

Submitted by the Heartland Councils Assistant Editor