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Chancellor, colleagues support Veterans Inc. Holiday Harvest

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

November 24, 2015
  UMMS employees volunteer at the Veterans Inc Annual Holiday Harvest on Nov. 24, 2015
 

Among the UMMS volunteers were (l to r) Jennifer Berryman, Tony Covello, Brendan Chisholm, Bill Tsaknopoulos, Jim Leary, Chancellor Michael Collins, Ryan Glines, Glady McRell and Kola Akindele.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins and a dozen UMass Medical School employees joined volunteers at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester today, distributing full turkey dinners to hundreds of veterans. The Veterans Inc. Annual Holiday Harvest provides turkeys, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, assorted fresh produce and pies to more 500 families of veterans in the region.

“It’s an incredible privilege to have an opportunity to help those who have served our country. It really is a special time of the year to be with folks who have given so much of themselves to our country. It’s amazing that they thank us; I think we should be thanking them,” Chancellor Collins said.

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.

“It is only through the generosity of outstanding community partners, such as UMass Medical School, that we are able to make this a reality every year. Our veterans and their families benefit not only from the abundance of food, but from the warmth and caring of the people who provide it—staff and leadership from UMass Medical School not only fill tables with their help each year, but also light up faces,” said Jason Palitsch, government and public affairs specialist for Veterans Inc.

This year, UMMS employees took up a special collection for the organization, providing food and clothing donations to support up to 80 veterans and their families.

“Giving back to people who need so much and who have sacrificed so much to this community is a great way to show the generosity and the spirit of the medical school,” said James Leary, vice chancellor for community and government relations.

Veterans Inc. is the largest provider of support services to veterans and their families in New England. Since its incorporation in 1990, Veterans Inc. has helped more than 60,000 veterans in need by assisting with housing, counseling, employment and training services, in addition to family programs; benefits counseling and advocacy; transportation; temporary financial assistance; food services, health and wellness programs; and women and childcare services.