A family that volunteers together…makes a big community impact
Every August, the Saren family prepares for Massachusetts Stand Down. Their impact can be seen throughout the two-day event; registering the veterans, ensuring safety for the veterans and volunteers, and keeping the grounds clean.
This event has become an annual tradition for the eight members of the family who have been volunteering for several years with Volunteers of America.
While volunteering, Jeff and Laurie Saren saw a need that their family could fill. Jeff, a disabled Veteran, assumed responsibility as the head of safety and security for Stand Down, while Laurie oversees essential roles of veteran registration; two important aspects that could not be done without dedicated volunteers.
The desire to help others was passed on to their children, as seen in their teenage sons, Tim and Kyle (seen left), who attend the event and are ready to help wherever needed. Eight year old Hannah wanted to make sure that “our veterans can come home and live in a cleaner U.S.,” so she and their youngest, Jaxon, created custom-made recycling bins so that Stand Down stays clean.
“We know are efforts are appreciated,” said Jeff. “But there is more work to be done and doing something for someone else as often as possible is the right thing to do,” he added.
The whole family looks forward to doing more with Volunteers of America and for our veterans as the years pass by, with Stand Down being an event the whole family can lend a hand to.
Massachusetts Stand Down is a two-day event that provides free services to homeless veterans or veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
Volunteers of America Massachusetts is the lead agency for Stand Down and co-hosts it with the Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more about the event and how to support our veterans, please contact Stephanie at 617.390.0228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.