Volunteer for Veterans

One of the greatest business lessons students have learned this year is adaptability and flexibility.  For full time dental hygienist and student, Deanna Brugger, it was particularly challenging.  She is completing her requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

“I needed to complete 30 hours of service learning for my research graduation project,” noted Deanna.  Because she had previously volunteered

Deanna Brugger

Deanna Brugger, volunteered to help expand Veteran outreach.

at Opportunity House, she called us to see what was available.  Volunteer Coordinator, Stacy Perlaski  suggested she work with the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. Since Deanna was working full time and at high risk for COVID-19, she needed a contactless opportunity. The SSVF project fit the bill.  

The project involved helping research and create outreach contacts for the program. “It’s essential that our communities know about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill Counties,” noted program director, Holly Wolf. Deanna provided email or mailing addresses for legislators, social service agencies, VFWs, American Legions, churches, police departments, district justices and other organizations who may encounter veterans. Creating these lists for three counties was a big undertaking.

“I learned about the services that Opportunity House and Supportive Services for Veteran Families provides to our community,” added Deanna.  The SSVF program is positioned to reach more veterans in the communities we serve.  “Through this work, SSVF is able to provide help to many more veterans,” she added.

Deanna was fortunate to see the results of her hard work.  Preliminary statistics showed that substantially increased our reach in all the communities we serve.  With consistent outreach, the SSVF program will continue to expand its reach in the communities we serve.

Deanna encourages others to consider volunteering for Opportunity House. “It was an amazing service to work with.  The people I worked with were so great with communication and providing the help and guidance I needed,” she noted.  She added that was comfortable with the working arrangement and enjoyed the experience. 

Supportive Services for Veteran Families provides assistance for qualified veterans who are literally homeless or facing eviction in Berks, Schuylkill and Lancaster Counties.  SSVF provides rental assistance, utility assistance, intensive case management and referrals to other resources to get veteran in stable housing.


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