December 2, 2018 Note from William (Bill) Schaaf, State Captain.
The decision to shut down the HOTH PGR Warehouse operation was not a decision PGR leadership took lightly. We knew of the importance of this program, not only to the many hundreds of veterans this program helped, but of its importance to the PGR volunteers who made this all happen.
Unfortunately, as with most volunteer organizations, 80% to 90% of the work is done by 20% to 10% of its volunteers. Not an indictment - just a stone cold fact about what organizations face. You could say that the warehouse operation became a victim of its own success. Since we formalized and added definition to the operational integrity of the warehouse operation, this program has grown in size and in scope. A core of dedicated volunteers led by Jason Forte, Steve Ford, Dan Ritz, Donna Brown, Dave Lippa, Bob Harder and many more were the people that made this all happen. This wasn’t just about going out and picking up and delivering furniture – there is a whole “backroom” skill set that works day to day – inventories, phone calls and followups – all sorts of coordination that had to take place.
As happens from time to time, some members of this core group have had to move on to other responsibilities, both personal and professional. These core individuals possess knowledge, experience, talents and passions that will be near impossible to replace. Add to that the fact that the number of volunteers that are available to make pick up and delivery runs has dwindled. Its hard work and the age demographic is working against us. In the end it’s just not feasible for us to staff this organization any longer. Sad it is – we have had a very successful run over many, many years but it has now come a time when, for all the circumstances listed, we could no longer maintain this program.
The Warehouse team deserves a well deserved thank you for the selfless hours, days and weeks spent in the success of this program. PGR leadership has enormous respect for what you have accomplished. The PGR HOTH program is still up and running and healthy and our efforts there will be ratcheted up more than a bit to help our veterans who need our help in many other areas - financial and otherwise.
December 8th will be the warehouse's last “mission” - it will be a bitter-sweet end. Thanks again to one and all.
After much thought and consideration, we have determined that is has become necessary to shut down the PGRNY ROC HOTH Warehouse. Our last delivery to veterans will be December 8, 2018. Effective immediately we will no longer accept furniture donations.
The program, which became formally organized in December of 2015, has grown above and beyond our expectations and what our membership can support. Through the dedication of the many PGR Members and others from the community who have come and helped with the pickups and deliveries each month, the generosity of the members of the community who donated furniture; U-Haul of Greece and TMS Express, Inc. for supplying trucks; and Buckingham Properties for the use of the rooms in their warehouse,
we have been able to provide over 1,850 pieces of furniture to 214 veterans.
Our success would also not have been possible without the dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to keep this operation running:
Jason Forte: Warehouse Manager; Donation Coordinator
Steve Ford: Assistant Warehouse Manager
Dan Ritz: Veteran Request Coordinator
Donna Brown: Inventory Assistant; Veteran Escort
Dave Lippa: Warehouse Liaison and Safety Captain
And countless other volunteers too numerous to mention.
Although we are unable to keep this program running, every person connected should feel proud of the difference that was made in the lives of those veterans transitioning back into society.