Submitted by Caritas Communities, Whole Foods Market and Bedford Veterans Quarters
More than 150 hungry shoppers participated in Whole Foods Market Bedford’s “Goodwill for the Grill” cookout on Friday, June 27, 2014, raising more than $1,000 for Caritas Communities Bedford Veterans Quarters residences.
Bedford’s Whole Foods Market, in a generous new relationship benefiting the complex that houses formerly homeless U.S. Military Veterans, donated 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the $5 burgers, which together with other donations from shoppers will help pay for assistance for the veteran residents from case workers.
Burgers were cooked and sold from a tent in front of the busy store, at 170 Great Rd., around noontime and late afternoon. Many shoppers who stopped by donated money for Bedford Veterans Quarters in addition to having lunch or dinner.
Meaghan Murphy Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market Bedford, and a staff of about 10 prepared, cooked, and handed out the burgers and cheeseburgers, along with samples of delicious pasta salad and desserts. Melanie Gilbert, Residents Case Manager at Bedford Veterans Quarters, helped arrange the successful event. “We are grateful to Whole Foods Market Bedford for so enthusiastically stepping up to the plate and assisting Caritas Communities,” said Karin Cassel, Director of Fund Development and Communications for Caritas Communities. “The successful ‘Goodwill for the Grill’ event is an example of the deep and generous commitment Whole Foods Market Bedford has made to our residents.”
Caritas Communities Bedford Veterans Quarters, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, MA, is a complex with 60 furnished rooms for previously homeless veterans, located on the campus of the Bedford Veterans Administration Hospital.
Whole Foods Market Bedford has placed at all of its checkout registers a flyer about Caritas Communities’ Bedford Veterans Quarters and a donation form for the benefit of the Bedford Veterans Quarters operating budget. Whole Foods Market Bedford is also generously providing a monthly birthday cake for Bedford Veterans Quarters’ residents, along with regular food donations. The food donations include fresh leftovers from their meat, seafood and prepared food counters that have been carefully frozen and packaged at closing the night before. They will also include produce and bread.
In the fall of 2013, Bedford Veterans Quarters was the recipient of Whole Foods Market Bedford’s “Five Percent Day,” five percent of proceeds totaling up to $5,000 being generously donated to Caritas’ Bedford Veterans Quarters, known as BVQ.
The donations have been particularly appreciated because several veterans have suffered significant cutbacks in food stamps, and the BVQ staff is working to fill that gap.
“Whole Foods Market Bedford is a champion in partnering with us on meeting this critical need, and others are pitching in too,” said Mark Winkeller, Executive Director of Caritas Communities. “It’s a real proud moment for the community to see this great team coming together to help men who have given a lot for all of the rest of us.”
About Bedford Veterans Quarters
Bedford Veterans Quarters – BVQ – opened in 2007 in an abandoned former nursing home building on the campus of the Bedford Veterans Administration. It was purchased, renovated, and brought to modern standards by Caritas Communities. BVQ was Caritas Communities’ first facility exclusively for homeless U.S. Military veterans. All of the 60 beds are for permanent residency. BVQ provides affordable housing and supports residents with two full-time case managers from the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, paid for by Caritas Communities.
About Caritas Communities
Caritas is the largest nonprofit owner and manager of permanent veteran and Single Room Occupancy housing in Greater Boston. Caritas Communities serve the housing needs of low-income individuals through the development and long-term management of affordable rooming houses by rehabilitating existing properties and building on vacant land, improving neighborhoods in the process.
Caritas provides low- and extremely low-income residents safe, clean, and stable housing in its 895 rooms in 29 buildings in Greater Boston, where rents range from $120 to $145 per week and include all utilities. All homes are no more than a 10-minute walk to public transportation. Caritas prides itself on providing safe, well-maintain, stable housing. Each house is supervised by a live-in Resident Manager responsible for the well-being of the residents and the upkeep of the property. Caritas partners with several direct care agencies. The Caritas model creates an opportunity to provide safe and permanent homes where residents can maintain dignity and stability in their lives.
By specializing on the single room occupancy model, Caritas Communities has become a leader recognized for expertise in developing, building and managing a type of housing that has almost disappeared — a clean and safe furnished room with shared bath and kitchen facilities affordable to low income individuals. Caritas is committed to the long-term ownership of its properties and has long term partnerships with banks, foundations, governmental agencies and other nonprofits, which gives it the financial strength and relationships vital to success. For more, please see www.caritascommunities.org.