Dec 20

Mountains to Miracles veteran gift drive a success

Posted by Recorder News – Dec 19, 2017 – by Chantelle DeRose, Recorder News Staff

Chantelle DeRose/Recorder staff
Mountains to Miracles Veterans’ Foundation Office Manager Charlene Fonda organizes donated gifts for veterans.

A gift drive for local veterans and their loyal service dogs was held recently through the Mountains to Miracles Veterans Foundation office on West Main Street.

Mountains to Miracles — an organization founded in 2012 by Tribes Hill native Paul DuBois — provides a plethora of services to local veterans including support groups, transportation, personal care items, furniture, food, clothing and referrals for treatment of depression and similar illnesses.  DuBois and a group of volunteers eventually formed the Woofs for Warriors Project following the success of Mountains to Miracles. The program matches local veterans suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service dogs. To date, a total of 61 dogs have been placed with veterans in need.

A holiday gift drive, overseen by the Amsterdam Office Manager Charlene Fonda, turned out to be a major success.  Donations for the drive were made by the Glen Reformed Church, the Glen-Mohawk VFW Post 942 and the county Christian Women’s Group. Donations from Johnstown, Burtonsville and local farmers were collected for the drive as well. A check in the amount of $1,000 was also presented by representatives from the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers’ Local Union No. 83 in Clifton Park.

Mountains to Miracles Veterans Foundation (MMVF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established to help and serve our veterans in the Northeast who are in need.

According to Fonda, Woofs for Warriors adopts suitable dogs from shelters or rescue groups. The dogs are then trained and the program attempts to help with the cost of veterinary services and dog food.  Local veteran Scott Clancy said the program has had a profound impact on his life. Kent, a 6-year-old Boxador, was placed with Clancy on May 18 in 2016.  “He knows what he needs to do for me if my PTSD kicks up. Even if he’s laying down, he’ll come and he’ll push me back,” Clancy said. “He keeps track of my blood sugar. He’ll turn the lights on for me when I go home and he’ll search the house to make sure nobody is in there.”

Clancy also said that Kent goes shopping with him and sits behind him to make sure he isn’t startled. Kent also knows how to hand Clancy his medication if he is unable to reach it himself.  “It’s amazing what they can teach these dogs,” Fonda said. “The vets would be lost without them.”  Clancy said he has seen the program grow since Kent came into his life.  “When I got Kent there was only about 20 dogs [with the program]. Since I’ve had Kent over 60 dogs now have been placed,” Clancy said. “They find a good match for the vets. He was probably the sixth or seventh dog. They went around the country looking before they got him in South Carolina.”

Clancy said his life was “a mess” before Kent became his service dog. He described himself and Kent as “the perfect pair.”  “Everything about having him is something I didn’t expect. Years ago, I never even would have considered it. He’s actually given me my life back,” Clancy said. “Life right now is actually pretty good. It still has its moments when things get hairy, but I’ve got Kent to help me.”

Fonda said that the not-for-profit organization is in need of donations now that Christmas is quickly approaching. Large scale gift drives, Fonda said, usually deplete much of the organization’s funding.  Monetary donations to assist veterans with rent, heating, utilities, food and any other service they need can be made payable to: Mountains to Miracles Veterans’ Foundation. 347 West Main St., Amsterdam, NY 12010. Those wishing to donate can also contact the office by calling 518-842-6683.

Links: Website, Facebook

written by admin \\ tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.