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Bright Spot: Veterans Base Camp in need of donations

A charitable organization in Connecticut that is dedicated to helping veterans is looking for some help themselves.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT
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CHAPLIN, Conn. (WFSB) - A charitable organization in Connecticut that is dedicated to helping veterans is looking for some help themselves.

For several years, ‘Veterans Base Camp’ has been providing a safe haven for veterans either returning from deployment or going through a life transition, whether that be homelessness, joblessness, or relationship issues.

“Many times, the issues are more than just what they experienced in combat. It’s trying to learn to reintegrate from going from that structured life back into their communities, or back into their relationships,” explains Executive Director, Cindy Archibald.

Veterans Base Camp is nestled on 43 beautiful acres in Chaplin.

“This used to be a camp for children with autism and it was called Camp Wawa.”

But now the property features six cabins, a main building, a pool, pavilion, hiking trails…

“There’s a river right down the street that you can fish in and there’s trophy fish in there. We also have miniature goats, and we have chickens and several of the veterans have service animals.”

They also have a food pantry called ‘Vittles 4 Vets’ which helps veterans all around New England.

“They don’t want to go to a regular food pantry because they feel like they’re taking it away from somebody else who deserves it. They’re always putting themselves last, so here we say, ‘No, no, no, you’re not taking from anybody else.”

But the biggest component of this place, is their transitional, supportive housing program called R.E.S.E.T.

“It’s an acronym for regroup, evaluate, strategize, engage, and then track the progress for veterans.”

Currently they house nine veterans.

“We have people who have come in and have been here for 6 months, 4 months, a year and a half, and then they move on to the next step.”

What also sets this program apart is that they are 100% volunteer-run.

“We have interns from four different colleges that come here, that are MSW or BSW interns; they provide free case management. They provide counseling under my supervision,” says Cindy.

Sadly, all the progress Veterans Base Camp has been making is in jeopardy now that the property is up for sale.

‘We are trying to purchase the camp because we do have the ability to…”

But the problem, Cindy says, is that banks don’t typically lend to non-profits since there is no guarantor. So, they are trying to come up with the down payment and appealing to the public for donations.

“We’ve got a bit to go, but we have a lot of faith that it’ll happen. To see everybody coming together to help our veterans has been one terrific, heartwarming journey because they really deserve it.”

If you would like to contribute to Veterans Base Camp’s mission, visit VeteransBaseCampInc.org.