General Needs to the Rescue for Homeless Veterans

Lonnie Sherman, founder and president of General Needs

Next Tuesday, April 12, 12:15, at Calogro’s Restaurant, 919 Franklin Avenue in Garden City, the Mineola-Garden City Rotary Club will welcome back as guest speaker, our friend Lonnie Sherman.  Lonnie is the founder and president of General Needs Ltd., an all-volunteer organization with the mission to provide basic necessities (all new) that are missing in the everyday lives of our homeless veterans in need and their families.

Founded by Lonnie in 2008, General Needs is a 501(c)3 non-profit that supports tri-state area veterans housed in emergency and transitional housing facilities – many who suffer from PTSD.

Through Lonnie Sherman’s personal efforts, dedicated supporters, volunteers and sponsors, General Needs has given more than 1,400 homeless veterans – many suffering from depression and anxiety and without a roof over their heads, a chance to retain their dignity and turn their lives around.

While Mineola-Garden City Rotary has supported General Needs for many years, we look forward to Lonnie’s account of continued efforts to come to the rescue of needy Veterans with dignity.

In addition to supplying everyday necessities to veterans on a regular basis, provided are such items as underwear, socks & T-shirts; towels and blankets; a variety of toiletries plus both warm and cold weather gear, with all items new – the rule!

Lonnie reports that General Needs has continued to gain both funding and experience following vulnerable veterans through their journey, “we’ve been able to add many special initiatives.

Included have been the Veterans’ Day Boots Project when in 2021, more than 1,342 steel-toed boots were distributed in 12 states.” Ronnie reports.

Other projects have included weekly meals.  In March 2020, due to COVID-19, Generals Needs pivoted to weekly restaurant meals to shelters in 16 locations – an initiative that supported both local restaurants and shelter-bound veterans. Today, Needs serves more than 1200 veterans in 25 locations with regular distributions across a much expanded list of items and services. For detailed information about General Needs, visit http://www.generalneeds.org.

Everyone is invited to join Rotary to hear Lonnie Sherman’s report while enjoying a great Calogero’s lunch of choice (fee, $35).

To attend, please email Diane Marmann, Club president, by Monday, latest, at diane.marmann@gmail.com

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