The NVF: A Look Back Before We Leap Forward

Not all Santas wear red suits. On Christmas Eve, NVF Outreach’s Gerald Hilliard drove our Outreach Van to deliver furniture to a Navy Vet in transitional housing. No chimney, no reindeer—but this holiday won’t be forgotten!

2021 NVF year back

This is what sets the NVF apart from other organizations. We’re Vet-to-Vet when it really counts. I’m thinking of last spring and summer when we delivered Survivor Boxes to LA’s Skid Row. The boxes included masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, food, water and some personal hygiene items.

Many of the homeless are Veterans, men and women, but we gave the boxes to other homeless, who said we were the only ones who would come down to Skid Row. We mounted a social media campaign to draw in funding to expand the program, but in the end we were on our own, using our own resources. That’s what we do. That’s why we’re a Four-Star Charity at Charity Navigator.

The most vulnerable in the pandemic have been the last to get any help, services or resources. That’s still the case. And the new year doesn’t portend any real change. This city’s medical facilities have been hit hard. They’re filled to capacity and then some. The pandemic has created an economic crisis (you can expect to see the homeless population grow) as well as a public health crisis. On the mental health side, our Lifeline for Vets hotline calls are increasingly for depression, isolation, and anxiety. Vets with PTSD get triggered and triggered again. We’re working hard to expand our hours to 24/7.

Deemed an essential service since the beginning of the pandemic, the NVF hasn’t missed a day. 2021 will arrive to find us ready, but we could sure use some support. If you’re able to give, you’re blessed, and this would be the perfect time. We need to gear up so we’re ready to leap forward to meet this new year’s challenges. Join our mission by giving at

If you know a Vet who needs help, here’s our Lifeline for Vets: 888.777.4443

You can be a part of our mission to help Veterans by making a tax-deductible donation!

About the Author

Shad Meshad

As a U.S. Army Medical Service Officer in Vietnam in 1970, Shad Meshad began pioneering treatment techniques for what would later become known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is the founder of the National Veterans Foundation and founder and co-author of the VA’s Vet Center Program.


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