Volunteers of America Director Michael Merrill speaks to the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club about the needs of Maine veterans and the computer the Rotary’s donation recently purchased. Courtesy Photo

BIDDEFORD/SACO — The South Portland, Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, with an emphasis on helping Maine’s veterans, has provided assistance in the first half of this Rotary year to Huot House in Saco and Veteran Career House in Biddeford. The club has donated $2,500, the organization said in a news release.

Operated by Volunteers of America, the facilities provide transitional housing for veterans who are rebuilding their lives and will be looking for employment and eventually, permanent housing.

The Rotary’s donation has allowed the facilities to purchase a computer veterans can use for job hunting and housing searches and for maintaining contact with family and friends. The money was also used to purchase four new beds for the facilities.

One veteran told Rotarians that support from donors has helped him afford bus passes so he could attend daily clinic appointments and maintain sobriety. Donations have helped with the purchase of furniture, items for daily living, clothing and more.

Over the past seven years, the South Portland, Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club’s donations to veterans has exceeded $37,000, the club reported.

They noted many of Maine’s homeless veterans have difficulty getting to medical appointments, job interviews, and other obligations due to lack of transportation and money. And many, who may be moving to their own transitional or permanent housing, may be in need of rental deposits, beds, essential household items and other moving expenses.

“We feel privileged to be partnered with these organizations to help Maine’s homeless veterans,” said South Portland, Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club President David Lourie. “This is a significant need, and these men and women who have served our country deserve all the help we can offer.”

For more information, or to donate to veterans through the Rotary Club, contact the club’s Maine veterans Chair Dan Davidson at [email protected] or 767-4682.

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