N. Shore and Chicago Chapter Supports ‘Closet’ for Servicemembers, Veterans

N. Shore and Chicago Chapter Supports ‘Closet’ for Servicemembers, Veterans
Members of the N. Shore and Chicago Chapter of MOAA present a donation to the Midwest Veterans Closet, which provides free food and other needed items to members of the local military community. (Courtesy photo)

For the past four years, the N. Shore and Chicago Chapter has been supporting the Midwest Veterans Closet (MVC), which provides free clothing, household items, small kitchen appliances, and furniture as well as employment and housing leads to local veterans and servicemembers.


In 2023, MVC provided nearly 885,000 pounds of food to members of the military community in need — a record for the organization.


According to Col. George Gill, USMC (Ret), chapter past president and legislative affairs liaison, support from the N. Shore and Chicago Chapter has increased over the years to meet the increasing need of the community. What began with a few members volunteering at MVC has grown to individual monetary and needed-item donations as well as two Community Outreach Grants from The MOAA Foundation to provide support.


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“Assisting [the MVC] became increasingly of interest when we found out the number of active duty sailors going there for food and other needed items,” Gill said. “That number has been growing virtually every year.”


The chapter also has been helping the organization in its efforts to expand operations to a new facility.


Gill said the chapter’s support of MVC has been “a good focus for members,” who “have a strong interest in reaching out to help the community.”


“It’s been an inspiring effort and neat to see chapter members stepping out on their own to volunteer and provide support,” he said.


He also noted the effort’s relationship to a MOAA advocacy issue of addressing food insecurity in the military community.


“We’re hopeful this effort — along with the advocacy we undertake in the Chicago region —will result in some movement in helping the active duty troops.”


In addition to its work with the MVC, the N. Shore and Chicago Chapter also supports the USO at O’Hare International Airport and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The chapter is also a member of the Veterans Assistance Commission of Cook County, whose mission is to provide immediate emergency financial assistance to Cook County discharged veterans and their families.


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About the Author

Blair Drake
Blair Drake

As managing editor of Military Officer, Drake coordinates and edits content for the magazine, including the Never Stop Serving section.