Google search leads to VLP receiving great news

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

ChameleonJohn.com, an online tool dedicated to helping shoppers save money on everyday purchases, has recently made a donation to Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania after a simple Google search. “After doing research on local veteran groups in Pittsburgh, it is our pleasure to help Veterans Leadership Program. This donation is our way to thank veterans for their sacrifices to our country from every one of us at Chameleon John.” ChameleonJohn offers online discount offers from thousands of major online retailers and compiles them on one website for ease of use. The company focuses on finding the best online deals to help all visitors to the site get the most out of each purchase. Users can save up to 70% while collecting coupons provided on ChameleonJohn.com. You can start collecting coupons on the website here. Saving consumers money is not the only work being done at ChameleonJohn to help community members. As the company grew, ChameleonJohn developed a budget to make donations to nonprofit organizations. The company researches organizations with a mission to serve others. ChameleonJohn.com has donated to over 100 organizations in the last year and plans to raise that number in 2016. Read more about ChameleonJohn.com and its co-founder in a recent Forbes article here. Veterans Leadership Program was overjoyed to receive this generous donation from ChameleonJohn. There are many costs associated with helping veterans find safe and affordable housing as well as gainful employment. For example, you may recall how quickly expenses added up when you rented your first apartment or bought your first home. You had to buy (or borrow from friends and family) furniture, bedding, towels, cookware and other common household necessities. Those items aren’t cheap! Or, you may recall graduating from college and needing clothes or means of transportation to go to your first job interview. For many of our veterans, they are experiencing a very similar situation, but with no income and a family to feed, any extra money to spend on household items, business clothing or bus passes is hard to come up with. We ask that when you make your next donation, please keep in mind that any donation helps us a great deal when serving veterans who come to us in...

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Aspen Dental selects a special local veteran for its “A Smile for Your Service” program

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

This past June, Aspen Dental held a “National Day of Service” offering free dental services to any military veteran at various locations around Pittsburgh. VLP helped promote the event locally and was able to visit the Monroeville location, where nine veterans received services including teeth cleaning, x-rays, fillings, extractions and oral health exams that focused on any oral health concerns the veterans had. Meet Nadine Nowlin, a U.S. Air Force veteran and a wonderful advocate for VLP. She often attends many community events on behalf of VLP, where she shares her personal story of homelessness and how our Project Journey emergency housing program was able to provide her with hope, guidance and resources for affordable housing and meaningful employment. Being in front of so many people made Nadine’s smile very important to her, but she was nervous about going to the dentist since she hadn’t been to one in some time and the cost was a big concern. When she heard of the “Day of Service,” she knew it would be the perfect opportunity to overcome her nerves. On the day of her appointment, Nadine met with the office manager, Cindy Sheftic, and doctors Inkyu Ahn and Emily Liska to discuss her needs. After hearing her moving story, the Monroeville office decided Nadine was the perfect candidate for the “A Smile for Your Service” program, which provides free, comprehensive care to one military veteran or service member each year. “Without having any dental coverage, I just couldn’t afford all of the services that the doctors recommended, so I cancelled my next appointment. Then, when Cindy called me and told me that they were going to cover all of the costs, I was in shock. I never thought that going to that one free day of service would have such an incredible impact on my life. It’s amazing what changing a smile can do.” – Nadine Nowlin, U.S. Air Force Veteran Through the “A Smile for Your Service” program, Aspen Dental donated additional care to Nadine with a grand total of $3,418.35. Aspen Dental explained that the “Day of Service” and “A Smile for Your Service” fall under Aspen Dental’s community based program entitled the Healthy Mouth Movement. Since 2014, nearly 7,000 patients, including thousands of veterans, have received free dental care through the Healthy Mouth Movement that has spanned more than 30 states and resulted in nearly $4 million dollars in free dental care and oral health education to people in need thanks to the generosity of dentists and team members from Aspen Dental practices across the U.S. “This program is a nice way to give back to those that have given so much for our country. After hearing Nadine’s...

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Volunteer for VLP’s Tax Site

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

For the 2016 tax season, VLP is partnering with United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Money in Your Pocket Coalition to host a free tax site at our offices. From January 19th through April 14th, volunteers will come to VLP’s offices to assist veterans and low-income individuals and families to prepare and submit their tax returns. To offer this program to our veterans, we need your help! Below is the full process of becoming a tax site volunteer. Not a professional tax accountant? No problem! United Way offers free training to prepare you for this volunteer opportunity! Step 1: Sign up  If you’re interested in volunteering, please visit the following website to sign up. https://uwswpa.org/money-in-your-pocket-coalition/ Step 2: Background check You will receive an email from InfoMart to complete a background check online. Please complete this step as soon as possible. Step 3: Register for classroom trainings Once your background check has cleared, you will receive an email from United Way directing you to sign up for training on VolunteerHub. For details about training, materials and other useful information, please visit and bookmark this website by clicking here. Step 4: Participate in free trainings offered by United Way Be sure to attend trainings and complete all online portions so you’re fully prepared for the tax site. Step 5: Take your IRS test You must pass this exam before your first day at the tax site. The exam is open book and you can ask questions from our staff. If you have difficulty with technology or require any special accommodations, I recommend signing up for an in-class testing session. It generally takes about 4 hours to complete this exam. Step 6: Come to VLP’s tax site for your first shift You will shadow an experienced volunteer for your first shift. Each site has its own site coordinator who will help you get into the swing of tax season and as a VITA site, we are required to have every return reviewed prior to the client’s departure from the site. Throughout the 2016 tax season, you will have ongoing support from both a site coordinator and a reviewer. If you have any questions, please contact Ken Haynes, VLP’s Tax Site coordinator at (412) 481-8200 ext. 226 or by email at haynesk@vlpwpa.org. We hope you will join us for this year’s tax season!  Deadline to sign up as a volunteer: January 15,...

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