April Showers Bring an Outpouring of Gifts For Homeless Veterans

May 1st, 2010
Photo courtesy of The Macomb Daily, which wrote an article about “Toasters for Troops” and captioned the photo: “The AMVETS Riders from Post 29 in Mount Clemens go by names like GatorTail (Sue Bertrand), Tequila (Daniela Slater), Shadz (Tom Lerchenfelt), Biker Barbie (Evy), Boss Lady (Tammy Lerchenfelt), LoKee (Tony Harding), Tech (Jeff Slater) and Gator (Joe Bertrand).”

Three different showers in late April raised funds and many items for the homeless veterans moving into a new facility in Detroit designed especially for them.

The $23 million, 150-unit facility is called Piquette Square. It provides long-term supportive housing for homeless veterans to enable them to reintegrate into the community. Piquette Square is located near the New Center area and is scheduled to open this June.

The one-bedroom apartments are furnished, but kitchen, bedroom and bathroom items are needed for each unit. To acquire these items, groups, organizations and businesses have been organizing “showers” or festive donation events. Funds raised at these events are targeted to buy room items.

AMVETS Post 57 in Harper Woods threw a shower and spaghetti dinner. The event raised more than $2000, including a $1000 donation from Toyota. Those who attended also donated bath accessories: towels, washcloths, bath mats, shower curtains and other items.

Janet Hirth, president of AMVETS Post 57, has toured Piquette Square twice. “I love the building,” Janet said. “It is a beautiful and dignified site that honors those who’ve served our country, but have fallen on hard times.”

AMVETS Post 29 in Mount Clemens arranged two different events in April to benefit Piquette Square.

First, the AMVETS Riders from Post 29 held a spaghetti dinner and, with the support of local businesses, raised funds to buy 150 toasters. The Riders called the event “Toasters for Troops.“

“We will deliver the toasters to Piquette Square in May with our motorcycle riding group escorting the delivery truck,” said Jeff Slater, one of the members of the Riders.

In addition, the entire Post 29 threw a fundraiser and shower attended by 50 members. More than $3000 was raised. This amount includes a $1000 donation from a member who is a disabled veteran and prefers not to be identified. Shower-goers also donated room items listed in the Piquette Square Wish List.

“The donations exceeded our expectations,” said Brett Lubaway, a Post 29 member who was one of the co-organizers of the shower. “”The event was also a lot of fun. A DJ donated his time and we didn’t wrap up until 1 in the morning.”

If you would like to contribute items to help the homeless veterans at Piquette, or would like to organize a shower, please email Mary Madigan or call her at 313.297.1371.

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