Community Impact

Newton Elks Donates to Veteran Housing Residents

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Darlene MacDonald, Chair of the Newton Elks Veterans Committee, donates clothes to Veterans Housing at Brighton Marine Residents

Brighton Marine is incredibly grateful for the continued support from its community partners in the Greater Boston area. Recently, Darlene McDonald of the Newton Elks donated clothes to the residents of our Veterans Housing at Brighton Marine. Her generosity is persistent in the community, and she has a continued dedication to Veterans needs and issues.

Darlene has been involved with the Newton Elks for several years and has been especially committed to assisting the homeless in Boston. This year, she and the Newton Elks organized a highly successful clothing drive for the New England Center and Home for Veterans, but due to an excess of donations to the organization, Darlene was tasked with finding an alternative organization to take the donated clothing. She turned to her friend Kelly McGrath of the Brighton Elks who readily recommended Brighton Marine, and Darlene enthusiastically made her way to campus to donate the clothing to our Veteran residents in need.  

“It’s the most beautiful facility,” said Darlene. “I’ve been to many homes, facilities and businesses, and Brighton Marine is top notch – so focused and organized. They strive to bring in Veterans in need but also transition them. They teach them what to expect when they move in and if they need furniture, they provide it. It’s well orchestrated and a beautiful facility.”

Though this is Darlene’s first experience with Brighton Marine, she has had a lifelong devotion to Veteran assistance. Both of Darlene’s brothers were in the Military and seeing them deployed as a young child was heart-wrenching for her. Since then, she has always kept Veterans’ needs front of mind.

“My husband used to laugh at me because I always have a plastic bag filled clothes, toiletries, food, and a Dunkin' gift card in my car in case I see a Veteran on the side of the road who needs help. Now, my husband does the same thing and we always stop when we see a Veteran in need,” she said.

Darlene is excited to continue her partnership with Brighton Marine and assist in any way she can. She recognizes the value of community partnerships in forwarding Brighton Marine’s mission and extending its reach for Veterans, both of which she feels are crucial.

When asked for her opinion on why community partnerships like the one she has fostered between the Newton Elks and Brighton Marine are so important, she responded, “I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t help. If it’s on your mind, why wouldn’t you? Within the Elks organization, a Veteran is never forgotten.”

The Newton Elks have been involved with a number of Veteran organizations including Waves for the Brave, which teaches disabled Veterans how to surf. In the future, Darlene would like to start a new initiative to have the Newton Elks to sponsor a Veteran moving to the Brighton Marine campus. Knowing that often times the Veterans moving to campus don’t have the essentials they need, Darlene’s goal would be to work with the Newton Elks to provide them with furniture, clothing, and household items to help with their civilian transition. Thank you Darlene and the Newton Elks for your support of Brighton Marine!

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