Yesterday the 2nd annual Army versus Navy fundraising even was held at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester. The event is run by Jp Marzullo and Jeff Chidester. All proceeds from the event go towards helping veterans of Liberty House, a non-profit organization that helps veterans who are transitioning out of homelessness to rejoin the community.
Liberty House Director, Keith Howard attended the event and spoke about the lack of federal funding. Why? The federal government won’t provide any funding because Liberty House is a substance-free housing community. Because of this, the organization relies solely on funding from private donations and fundraisers such as this Army vs Navy event. Many supporters donated items for a silent auction and others donated money even if they couldn’t attend.
Political Buzz asked Howard about the federal funding and what it means for the organization:
As an act of honor and integrity, Liberty House stepped away from HUD funding. We have been and will remain a clean and sober house for veterans who have been homeless but who are working their way back into the mainstream. Deciding to give up funding may have seemed potentially foolhardy, but the people of New Hampshire, New England and, in fact, the entire country, have supported our decision not just with their voices and emails, but with their donations.
When one accepts money from any government, one agrees to do what the government says; today, we answer not to a bureaucracy but to individual and group donors who want to house homeless veterans, feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Liberty House is not a religious place, and I am not a religious man, but I think a fella by the name of Jesus suggested those are pretty important and worthwhile goals.
There were veterans, families of veterans, state legislators, former state legislators, supporters of veterans, Manchester Mayor Gatsas and Rolling Thunder members in attendance. The event has a light-hearted rivalry between Army and Navy fans who all enjoy football, appreciate veterans and want to help support those veterans in need.
Since Liberty House relies on private donations, any and all help is appreciated from the community. They keep regular wish lists of items on their website to provide specifics that are needed for members of their community at any given time. On their November/December wish list their veterans are in need of things like warm socks, winter coats, gloves and scarves as well as toiletries, food items and more.