Part of our Enriched Neighborhood® program is to allow our veterans to grow and enrich their lives in ways they might not expect. Sometimes, our therapeutic programs lead to veterans rediscovering aspects about themselves that they had forgot about or stopped as their lives changed. One of our veterans, Steve Anderson, a Vietnam-era Army veteran, was working through our Tear Soup program when he rediscovered his love for poetry. Our Tear Soup program is a workshop on grief and loss that works through the stages of grief in a supportive group environment with other veterans. Each workshop focuses on creating a page of their book that deals with identifying their grief, dealing with loss, denial, the loop of grief, isolation, anger, and in the end they work on identifying tools that help them cope with their grief on a daily basis such as hope, faith, and family. Understanding and processing grief is key to their long-term success.  Steve’s experience in making his book brought back a part of his life that he had forgotten he loved- poetry. He wrote several poems while making his book and continues to write poetry to this day about everything from his feelings on being deployed and losing his friends, to the honor and respect he has for WWII Veterans. Steve also has a profound need to share his powerful poetry with the world in hopes of helping others heal and understand him better. At our 2017 Builders Ball, Steve read his poem honoring WWII Veterans to a room filled with over three hundred people. The room that was filled with fun and laughter the rest of the night was completely silent in respect and awe for Steve’s poetry. The experience was so empowering for Steve that he continues to write poems every day and is now working to get his poems published in a book.

At our 2018 Builders Ball, Mark Johnson, a single father of two that will be getting a home from Homes 4 Families in the coming year, is excited to be speaking. Mark is an Army veteran and is planning to bring his whole family along to the event. Mark has been working extremely hard to complete his sweat equity hours by helping to build not only his home but his community. He goes above and beyond the call of duty every day to help his fellow veterans and future neighbors with kindness and support in any way he can. We will be honoring Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and Tom Stemnock at this year’s Builders Ball on Friday, February 16, 2018. Don’t miss this special and empowering event to support building not only homes but Enriched Neighborhoods® for veterans and their families.

For more information on this year’s Builders Ball, call our offices and speak with Donielle DeLeon today. 818-884-8808 x209