The Christmas spirit hasn’t faded for Moving Veterans Forward.
“Our veterans are going to have Christmas day every day for the rest of the year,” said Moving Veterans Forward Founder Ron Hernandez.
On Christmas day, the Papillion-based nonprofit group’s trailer was stolen from the Millard American Legion parking lot along with $4,000 worth of kitchen supplies. After learning that insurance wasn’t going to cover the stolen trailer and items, Hernandez decided to start a furniture fundraiser to help replace everything.
“On Jan. 12, we had a furniture fundraiser in the Millard American Legion parking lot, the same place where our trailer was stolen,” he said. “We expected to fill one-half of a semi-trailer, but we ended up filling two semi-trailers donated by Werner (Enterprises) and two 30-foot delivery trucks.
“We got everything you would need for a house and we got plenty of stuff to provide for many veterans for quite a while. It was a minor tragedy but it was a great blessing that we received all of these donations from everybody.”
Hernandez said he could probably help house 30 to 35 veterans from all of the donations from the furniture fundraiser alone, not including what he already has stored in his warehouse.
He started the group in 2011. Moving Veterans Forward helps provide homeless veterans free furniture and other household items after they find housing.
They also helped move them into their homes. They moved 279 veterans around the metro area in 2018 and 1,249 since the program’s inception.
Even after receiving all of the furniture donations, Hernandez is still raising money to replace the stolen trailer.
Because the insurance company won’t replace it, it’s up to him and the volunteers to raise the money. The goal is to raise $3,800 and so far, he’s raised $700.
“It’s very disheartening but we’re trying to recoup our funds to get the trailer replaced,” he said.
Hernandez appreciates all of the donations and helping the veterans.
“I want to thank everyone for the help and support. It means a lot,” he said.
To make donations or to volunteer, contact Hernandez at 402-301-6300 or email him at movingvets email@example.com.