Last week, members of Barre Lodge visited Josh’s House in Colchester’s Fort Ethan Allen to present a check for $2500 to Executive Director Val Pallotta. The donation was made possible from an Elks National Veterans Service Commission Freedom Grant. Only 350 grants were available this year and Barre was the only Lodge in Vermont that received a Freedom grant. The grants must focus on servicing veterans and active-duty military members in areas of employment, homelessness and housing, military families, health and educational support.
Josh’s House, a brand new veteran wellness and recreation center, focuses on all of the areas. Newly opened in March 2021, Josh’s House provides meals, classes, recreational opportunities, gym equipment, computers and quiet space for veterans and active-duty military members to gather. Josh’s House has a very active Facebook page with numerous upcoming events including open house meet and greats, ladies nights, and BBQs. Executive Development Director Andrea Gagner organizes free massages, educational talks about bee keeping and other activities for veterans. They are always looking for donations of meals or gift cards to provide and have set up a Meal Train account for this.
“Josh’s House is a place that service members can come home. It’s a safe place for whatever you may need. From a quiet space to just relax or to enjoy friendly conversations or just to find your own inner calm. A place that allows veterans of all eras to be welcomed and to feel at home,” said veteran Jordan.
Barre Elks Lodge members are proud to support Josh’s House financially and look forward to actively participating in events there in the future.
To sign up for Josh’s House Meal train go to www.mealtrain.com/trains/g2v5dl?fbclid=IwAR23zAmAuEwTYUy0w9zWzeTOjLK9x9pPNRmKoEswBoHNJKpi5zl8490bfi0.
To see a story on Josh’s House by NECN, www.necn.com/news/local/vt-mom-opens-veteran-wellness-and-recreation-center-named-for-late-son/2426564/.