Sterling Heights’ Sterling Insurance Group recently donated $10,000 to Roseville Charity Vets  Returning Home, a nonprofit that supports struggling veterans. In addition to a recent monetary donation, several employees of the Sterling Insurance Group volunteer at the Vets Returning Home nonprofit.

Sterling Heights’ Sterling Insurance Group recently donated $10,000 to Roseville Charity Vets Returning Home, a nonprofit that supports struggling veterans. In addition to a recent monetary donation, several employees of the Sterling Insurance Group volunteer at the Vets Returning Home nonprofit.

Photo provided by Diane Booth-Gavie


Sterling Heights business makes big donation to Roseville nonprofit

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 17, 2019

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ROSEVILLE — Roseville nonprofit Vets Returning Home recently received a $10,000 donation from Sterling Insurance Group, of Sterling Heights, to help veterans in crisis.

Diane Booth-Gavie, the business development manager for Sterling Insurance Group, said several employees at the independent insurance group have a connection to Vets Returning Home and were happy for the opportunity to help.

“We have been out to Vets Returning Home a few times; we helped serve food and a few other things. Everybody who comes through the line is so thankful,” she said. “Safeco (Insurance) lets us pick a charity, and the prize is $5,000 — which was doubled because we got support on social media, which was part of the program. We submitted a photo of us working out there. We were chosen, and we had to get 250 likes or shares on social media, and we got that very quickly.”

Safeco Insurance runs a program where participants such as Sterling Insurance Group can apply to win money to support a nonprofit via a donation, which Safeco then doubles if the participant gets enough likes on Facebook.

“Vets Returning Home receives no government funding. It’s totally supported by volunteers,” said Vets Returning Home founder and Volunteer Director Sandy Bower. “I think a lot of people don’t know what they can do to make a difference. Anyone and everyone can do a little — or do a lot. We can’t do this by ourselves, so having this community support is instrumental. … It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the Sterling Insurance Group. It’s amazing that they did this for us.” 

Since 2014, the nonprofit has been assisting veterans who have fallen on hard times or who are struggling to readjust to nonmilitary life. It does this in a variety of ways.

“Vets Returning Home is traditional housing for vets in crisis,” said Bower. “Our veterans live on the premises. We try to address the issues that brought them to crisis and then form a plan to help them, work with other resources like the (Department of Veterans Affairs) and help find them resources like jobs, a permanent home and so forth.”

Among the programs it runs to aid veterans is assisting them in finding permanent housing. This includes furnishing new homes, which Bower said is what this money will be used for primarily.

“We have had a huge issue with not being able to store furniture, which we use to furnish new homes for veterans,” she said. “The city of Warren has donated a location, but it had some pretty big issues, such as it needing electrical work, so these funds will help us get it ready for use.”

Vets Returning Home will have a ribbon-cutting for the new storage space, located at 29601 Hoover Road in Warren, at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26.

Booth-Gavie said supporting the organization was an easy decision and is a very worthy cause.

“We have a couple of women who work in our office whose sons are serving overseas,” said Booth-Gavie. “We’ve occasionally sent things to them like books or footballs. That led us to Vets Returning Home, and we went over there and it was an eye-opener. Everyone at the office wanted to do their share. These are people who served their country, and we feel we should be helping them.”

She went on to say she hopes this will teach more people about Vets Returning Home and encourage others to help in whatever way they can.

“Everybody should do their share,” Booth-Gavie remarked. “It can’t be done by one person or group. Even visiting a group like Vets Returning Home with some pizza helps. The folks over there were so grateful. If people chip in, there would be far fewer homeless veterans.”

Bower said there are many ways the average person can improve the life of a struggling veteran.

“People can visit www.vets returninghome.org and donate monetarily, they can support one of our events that they can find on the website, they can volunteer at the center, they can provide items like food or coffee, donate furniture, and people can even donate vehicles,” explained Bower. “We give vehicles to veterans for use. We’ve been able to give out 28 vehicles. … We’ve housed 1,400 veterans during the six years we’ve been open.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.

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