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YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Compassion-first Veteran Advocacy

Camaraderie, Connection, and Care.
That's where we begin.
We are here until you are on solid ground.

Compassion-first effort to honor, celebrate, and support  Western PA veterans year-round. 

We are deeply committed to the welfare of veterans in Western PA, and we're excited to introduce "What's Brewing?" - a grassroots, volunteer initiative designed to address the silent struggles that veterans may encounter. Our primary objective is to foster connections among veterans and dedicated community collaborators through relaxed, community-based social gatherings.

The closure of communal spaces like the VA Hall of Heroes during the pandemic has left many veterans feeling isolated and unsupported. Our mission is to bridge this gap by creating welcoming environments where veterans can come together to share experiences, engage in meaningful conversations, and find the support they need.

"What's Brewing?" aims to provide a space where veterans can be heard, feel understood, valued, and connected with their community. By facilitating these gatherings, we hope to combat isolation and promote well-being among veterans in Western PA. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who have served our country.

At the heart of our efforts lies a deep understanding of the importance of hospitality and listening to veterans. Our approach is grounded in compassion-first initiatives, aimed at honoring, celebrating, and supporting veterans year-round. When a veteran reaches out for assistance, we stand by their side, advocating for them and navigating resources until they find solid ground.

Prioritizing empathy and understanding, we strive to create opportunities where veterans feel valued and supported on their journey toward wellness. Our commitment to fostering community connections and providing ongoing support underscores our dedication to serving those who have served our country. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of veterans in Western PA.

Image by Avery Cocozziello

FROM IDEA TO REALITY:

The evolution of  Veteran AdvoCare 
and
What's Brewing

March 9,  2023

 

"What do veterans in Allegheny County need

that isn't being provided?"

 

Through 65+ conversations with veteran organizations and veterans, from December 2022 - April 2023, 

Four Themes emerged: 

  • To be heard and feel connected

  • Unencumbered information and access to veteran resources and opportunities that already exist locally and nationally, (without the delay or debris of dead-ends and red tape.)

  • Support and connectedness for spouses and families of veterans.

  • Increase awareness in the community, i.e. churches, businesses, and service industry, about veterans, silent struggles, invisible wounds, and how to show value and appreciation. 

What's Brewing

Goals

  • Establish a casual, inclusive, and welcoming environment focused on hospitality, where veterans can gather for coffee, conversation, and camaraderie. 

  • Engage and attract a diverse range of veterans, particularly those who may not be currently connected to support services, or other veterans.

  • Foster collaboration with a wide array of community organizations, mentors, veteran families, and volunteers to enrich the support network and streamline pathways for accessing assistance.

  • Educate veterans about available services, with a particular emphasis on grassroots organizations and lesser-known resources.

  • Raise awareness within local communities about the veteran population, promoting understanding, appreciation, and empowerment.

  • Empower businesses to recognize and honor veterans year-round. 

Role of “What’s Brewing"

  • Identify community partners interested in hosting and sponsoring veterans’ gatherings. 

  • Reach a wide variety of veterans and Veteran Service Organizations, to publicize the monthly events.

  • Supply coffee or identify sponsors to offset cost of What’s Brewing gatherings.

  • Connect sponsors to hosts.

  • Maintain a “What’s Brewing” social media, veteran contacts, and www.veteranadvocare.com to invite,  track, and cap participants if needed 

  • Have veteran resources available, including representatives of the veteran service community to connect, direct, and follow-up with veterans in need. 

  • Therapy dog visit, upon request.

Role of Partner Businesses and Venues.

  • Open your space for veterans to gather as frequently as you’d like 

  • Provide coffee or set up for WB to make coffee or enable sponsor participation.

  • Communicate with Whats’ Brewing personnel for advertising and Feedback purposes

If you are a business, venue, or organization and would like to be a place where veterans feel welcome or to sponsor an event,  let us assist. 

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Military Salute

Salute to Service

It's time to think differently about Veterans Day and how we honor veterans. 

If the week of 11/11, a veteran took advantage of "freebies", they could consume 426 free cups of coffee and 98 free meals, most of which were offered in one day.

What if . . . 

  • We honored veterans and brought awareness to veterans' issues year-round?

  • We dedicated the 11th day of every month to veterans.

This is the start of an awareness movement. In partnership with local businesses, we will work to find and honor veterans in places they normally go.  

 

Role of “What’s Brewing

  • Identify community partners interested in honoring veterans as venue hosts or sponsors.. 

  • Reach veterans and Veteran Service Organizations, to publicize the monthly events.

  • When appropriate, identify sponsors to offset the costs of celebrating and honoring veterans. 

  • Connect sponsors to hosts.

  • Maintain a “What’s Brewing” social media invite to track and cap participants. 

  • Have resources available, including a representative of the Veteran Community to connect, direct, and follow-up with veterans in need. 

  • Therapy dog visit, upon request.

 

Role of Partner Businesses and Venues.

  • Create a “veteran event” in your facility on the 11th day of any month.  

  • Offer discounts or facilitate giveaways for veterans. Consider what you offer on 11/11 and select a different month.

  • Include veteran families in the event/activities when appropriate.

  • Communicate with Whats’ Brewing personnel for advertising and Feedback purposes

 

If you have a business, venue, or organization and would like to launch a year-round way to honor veterans with a What's Brewing event or an in-kind donation/sponsorship, let us assist. If you would like more info about or would like to get involved on 1/11 or 2/11, or 3/11, (you get the idea), reach out.

Veteran Family

It Starts With Conversation
 

If you would like to host, sponsor, or support an event

where veterans feel welcome, heard, and honored, let us assist. 

 

            Brian Beach                                                               Sue Watson

            bribeach@pa.gov                                                       412sue@gmail.com

            412-665-6790                                                            412-977-6451

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