Charities Benefitting from Swim with a mission
Veterans Count - In 2014, a group of dedicated volunteers in the Lakes Region led by Cynthia Makris, Ken Lull and Tim Callahan gathered community leaders to get the ball rolling to launch a new chapter of Veterans Count! At the first meeting of the Veterans Count Lakes Region Chapter, Siddartha Sosa Rodriguez, an Airman for the New Hampshire Air National Guard, spoke of the struggles he had reintegrating back into his community after returning from deployment to the Middle East in 2009. Since connecting with Veterans Count he has secured a stable living environment, gotten married, completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology and is working on his Master’s degree. He is also giving back to other veterans in his role as a Care Coordinator for Easter Seals Military & Veterans Services. “It’s a beautiful thing when the legacy of a WWII Marine is able to help his fellow veterans in New Hampshire today. I was honored to start the Peter Makris Memorial Run in 2007 to continue my father’s spirit of giving back to his beloved community and fellow veterans. Starting a Lakes Region Chapter of Veterans Count made a lot of sense,” said Cynthia Makris. “There are so many giving and generous people living in the Lakes Region year round and seasonally who care deeply about our veterans and their needs. We are looking forward to being the newest chapter of Veterans Count in New Hampshire!”
From the Patrol Boat Riverines – PBRs – that enabled the Navy SEALs in navigating and dominating the maze of rivers and canals in Vietnam, to a replica of Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad Pakistan, the Navy SEAL Museum houses an array of artifacts that showcase their perilous missions.
The museum’s purpose extends far beyond presenting exhibits: it ensures and shares the legacy of the world’s premier special operations force. The facility not only traces the history of the Navy SEALs, but it provides visitors with an uncommon perspective of our nation’s constant vigil for freedom spanning more than 70 years. Through their dedication to duty and relentless resolve, SEALs have “paid the bill” for American freedoms for decades. The museum enlightens visitors as to the cost of elite preparedness.
Bridge House Homeless Shelter & Veterans Advocacy is located in the rural setting of Plymouth New Hampshire. The shelter itself is open to all however unconditionally welcomes anyone who identifies themselves as having been in the military. Once settled in -- and sometimes it may be the staff bedroom if the rest of the shelter is full- the staff works on assisting the individual in acquiring their DD 214 as well as advocating for services and benefits through the VA and other veteran centric organizations such as Easter Seals Vets Count. BH is the only shelter willing to welcome a Veteran's canine companion as well. Additionally Bridge House privately fund raised an account specifically for former members of the military – NH Homes 4 Our Vets. This account not only will be able to help veterans move into permanent housing once built but it is helping veterans in the community maintain housing stability by offering them financial assistance when the going gets tough. In just the past 15 months July 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 Bridge House alone has served 35 vets – 34 male and one female.