MVOC Participates in Holiday Food Drive

This holiday season MVOC partnered with the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and over a dozen other local agencies to ensure our community had both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  Thanks to this collaboration we were able to provide food for over 450 families! Work with these agencies will continue as MVOC has now joined the North Central Hunger & Health Roundtable group, focused on collaboration and human services.

Montachusett Veteran’s Outreach Center Executive Director Stephanie Marchetti picked up donations for the Gardner Community Action Committee, Winchendon Community Action Committee and Montachusett Veteran’s Outreach Center as part of United Way of North Central Massachusetts’ inaugural 2022 Holiday Food Drive. (Courtesy United Way of North Central Massachusetts)

To read more about this effort, check THIS Sentinel and Enterprise article.

4th Annual Jesse H. Stallings Speaker Series hosts veteran Kurt Power

On Thursday September 15, 2022 MVOC hosted its’ 4th annual Jesse H. Stallings Speaker Series. This year the event expanded to include a community resource fair and was hosted at Gardner’s Monument Park.

Vendors present for the resource fair included the MassHire Veterans Employment Counselor, American Consumer Credit Counseling, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Veteran’s Office, Alyssa’s Place, GAAMHA, Veteran’s Inc, North Quabbin Trails Association, the Mass SAVE team, and a representative from the ROTC.

This year’s speaker was Kurt Power, an Iraq veteran of the US Army who earned a purple heart for his service and dedication abroad. Keeping in alignment with September’s national suicide prevention theme, Kurt spoke about his struggles reintegrating to civilian life and how he dealt with his PTSD.

THANK YOU to our many sponsors for your support of MVOC and this event:

  • Fidelity Bank
  • Commodore Builders
  • ELM Electrical
  • Piper Electric, LLC
  • Dan Piper
  • Advanced Cable Ties
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Padgett Business Service
  • Rollstone Bank & Trust
  • Michael Nicholson
  • Jon Zlotnik
  • Huhtala Oil
  • Anthony’s Liquor Mart
  • American Biomedical Corporation
  • ABM
  • GFA
  • Wachusett Mountain

MVOC participates in discussion with US Senator Elizabeth Warren

On Monday August 22nd MVOC Executive Director Stephanie Marchetti participated in a local meeting with US Senator Elizabeth Warren to discuss COVID, labor shortages, childcare, and human services needs throughout the state.

A group of local business owners, organizations, and city officials meets with US Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday August 22, 2022.

The full news story can be viewed HERE at The Gardner News.

Fire & Iron Rides for MVOC

On Saturday July 23rd Fire & Iron Station 857 hosted a covered wagon bridge ride in continued support of MVOC’s Housing Expansion Project. The ride, coupled with a raffle, raised a $3000 donation for the organization.

Fire & Iron has raised over $20,000 for MVOC over the years, earning the group a name dedication in the housing project once it opens.

Fire & Iron Station 857 presents MVOC Executive Director Stephanie Marchetti with a $3000 check at their station meeting.

Fire and Iron Station 857 hosts a covered wagon ride throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire to raise funds and awareness for MVOC’s housing expansion project.

Housing Expansion Project Support

Recently both Fire and Iron Station 857 and the Sons Of the American Legion Squadron #193 (out of Winchendon) have donated in support of MVOC’s housing expansion project.

Fire and Iron Station 857 dedicated their 15 year anniversary party to raising $2000 for MVOC’s housing expansion project. Photo courtesy of Keith Kent and the Winchendon Courier.

To read the full story on the party and donation, refer to the Winchendon Courier’s write up in THIS edition post.

Sons Of the American Legion Squadron #193 presented MVOC with a $3,000 donation in support of MVOC’s housing expansion project.

For more information about our plans to expand, as well as details on donations and dedication, check HERE.

Rolling Thunder Vermont 1 Donates in Support of MVOC Housing Efforts

Many thanks to Rolling Thunder Vermont 1 for their generous donation to MVOC!
Pictured: Fred Blanchard, Vice President of Rolling Thunder Vermont Chapter 1 presented a donation of $2000 to Montachusett Veteran’s Outreach Center’s Executive Director, Stephanie Marchetti. This donation was made in memory of Marie Conlin.
Rolling Thunder is a non-profit motorcycle group that raises funds for these donations through a variety of activities: pancake breakfasts, raffles, calendar sales, etc. Most notably, Fred gigs as Santa Claus each holiday season and collects donations throughout that activity. Their mission is to honor past, present, and future veterans and you do not nee to be a veteran to participate in the club.

MVOC to expand into Winchendon Housing Complex

MVOC’s goal is to repurpose the vacant Streeter and Poland School Buildings in Wichendon, MA into 44 single resident apartments of veterans housing, with support spaces located on the 3.8 acre site. Activity areas are planned, with furnishings and equipment to invite resident use. Additionally, the site will include 22 parking spaces, a courtyard along with recreational areas, grill area and raised planting beds for gardening. In recognition of the veterans living at the development, there will be a columbarium memorial to provide a final resting place for residence.

More details are available in THIS December 2021 Gardner News story.


From the Gardner News: Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center continues mission of keeping vets warm

Original article published here, by Stephen Landry of The Gardner News.

Article posted partially here:

GARDNER – Needy veterans throughout the region will be warmer this winter thanks to the generosity and warmth of spirit of members from three American Legion posts.

Representatives from the E.H. Phillips American Legion Post 102 in Athol donated dozens of winter coats Wednesday to the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center.

MVOC Executive Director Stephanie Marchetti said the donation came about a few weeks ago after she had casually mentioned to Scott Hume, service director of Post 102, that her organization was in the middle of a winter coat drive.

“We had happened to meet at another veterans event, and we’d never met before, and within a couple of days (Scott) had called and said he wanted to help,” Marchetti explained. “I just mentioned we had a need (for winter clothing) and here we have dozens of jackets.”

Post 102 Commander Peter Newman said giving back to the community is one of the most important things the American Legion could do – both for veterans and non-veterans – throughout the year.

“This is what it’s all about,” Newman said.

Legion officials had put out the call for warm winter clothing on various social media accounts, and the response was immediate, he said.

“This is what you get. It was a great response,” he said.

Marchetti said the coats would be available to anyone who might need one.

“We will prioritize them for our veterans, but ultimately we just want folks who need them to have them,” she said. “If there are other folks in the city or community who need them, and we have them, we’ll provide them.”

Marchetti said MVOC was also in touch with other local organizations to track the need.

“This morning, I had a woman from the Gardner Emergency Housing Mission come by because she had a homeless couple who needed some clothes, so we gave them a couple of jackets and gloves and scarves. They weren’t veterans but they are cold and it’s winter so we helped them out,” Marchetti said. “And I know if we needed something from (GEHM), we’d give them a call too. I think ultimately the goal is to just help people who need it, and if we all know each other that means we can source it out to the right place.”