UMMS supports Veterans Inc. Holiday Harvest

Chancellor, colleagues volunteer at Thanksgiving dinner distribution

By Megan Bard and Lisa Larson

UMass Medical School Communications

November 25, 2014
  • Chancellor Michael F. Collins shares a word with one of the hundreds of veterans who participated in the annual Veterans Inc. Harvest Day event.
  • Members of the UMass Medical School team volunteered to distribute food during the Veterans Inc. Harvest Day event.
  • UMass Medical School staff member Bill Tsaknopoulos sorts through oranges before the Veterans Inc. Harvest Day event.
  • UMass Medical School’s Chancellor Michael F. Collins, Jesse Edwards and Stephanie Renk place turkeys in a veteran’s cart.
  • UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins talks with Veterans Inc. Executive Director Denis Leary and President Vincent J. Perrone Jr.
  • UMass Medical School staff member Stephanie Renk helps Maryellen Collins organize the turkeys for distribution.
  • A table for one is set up symbolically at Veterans Inc. in memory of the members of the armed forces who never returned home.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins, his wife, Maryellen, and a dozen UMass Medical School employees joined volunteers at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester on Tuesday, distributing full turkey dinners to hundreds of veterans. The Veterans Inc. Annual Holiday Harvest provides turkeys, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, vegetables and pies to more than 400 families of veterans in the area.

“It is humbling to be able to give back to the men and women who have done so much for our country,” Chancellor Collins said. “We are privileged to be able to help see that these families have a healthy Thanksgiving meal.”

Veterans Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Vincent J. Perrone Jr. and Executive Director Denis Leary thanked the dozens of volunteers who honored veterans by helping distribute the donated dinners. MorphoTrust USA served as the premier sponsor of the event.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday that is designed to focus on what’s great about our country,” said Jason Palitsch, government and public affairs specialist at Veterans Inc. “We owe it to these veterans and their families to give back to them and make sure they have a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.”

Veterans Inc. is the largest provider of services to veterans and their families in New England. Since 1991, the organization has helped more than 50,000 veterans and their families. Operations are expanding further into New England and beyond toward the goal of eradicating homelessness among veterans.

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