At our regular meeting on Wednesday, November 8th, Lonnie Sherman described the activities and plans for “General Needs”, a program he founded a decade ago, now an official project of the Rotary Club of the Ronkonkomas.
The project mission is to help homeless Long Island veterans and their families, by providing the basic necessities that are missing in their everyday lives.  The project now serves 3000 - 4000 veterans, from Brooklyn to Riverhead, annually.
He gave us an update on how Rotary clubs and other volunteers have helped LI veterans since his last visit to our club. Based on his (often heart rendering) anecdotes, Lonnie and his growing group of volunteers are making a tremendous difference in the lives of these unfortunate folks. The project has received letters indicating that their efforts have even had an impact on reducing the alarmingly high suicide rate among veterans on Long Island.
Project activities have recently expanded to helping veterans find and pay for housing on LI, and support of abused women veterans in homeless shelters in Connecticut.
Lonnie described how General Needs is working with regional distribution centers on Long Island to provide much needed items, such as boots, coats, blankets, socks and underwear to homeless veterans.
Lonnie also described the need for new volunteers to help collect, package and distribute supplies at the various stores and distribution centers throughout Long Island. There are several hands-on projects in which Babylon Rotary can be involved; if you’re interested, please contact Frank Seibert.
Lonnie is shown above with Babylon Rotary President Frank Seibert.