Fall 2009 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Giving the Home a touch of home
Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA

We all dream of someone coming up and saying “You have carte-blanche to fi ll your home with whatever you need; new furniture, new kitchen appliances; whatever your heart desires.”

Reality is this never happens.
Or so we thought…

Flashback to two months ago, Susan
Friedenberg contacted Ron "Fuzzy" Freswick, Aviation Director for the Williams- Sonoma, Inc., Flight Department requesting donations for the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home.

Volunteers helping Menlo residents
Ron "Fuzzy" Freswick, Aviation Director for the Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Flight Department, poses with one of the chaise lounges donated by Williams-Sonoma to the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home.

Susan, who is the daughter of World War II veteran Bernie Friedenberg, and has been actively soliciting support for the Home from the corporate flight community.

Freswick, an Air Force Vietnam veteran, contacted the Williams-Sonoma leadership, which resulted in a visit to the Vineland Home by Mark Hayward, who is the Assistant General Operations Manager at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., for the Greater New York City Area.

Hayward was impressed by the home’s operation and on Nov. 10, Williams-Sonoma donated 60 pieces of outdoor furniture including chairs, tables with umbrellas, chaise lounges, picnic table sets and hardwood coolers.

“I was just fl oored,” said Lisa Williams, Director of Activities at Vineland. “It will defi nitely make the difference in the quality of life for veterans here.”

Some corporations and groups would have been satisfi ed with that single donation. But there was more to come. Next spring, the home will receive another furniture donation.

“They’ve adopted us,” said Williams. “They want the residents to have a homelike atmosphere.”

Williams-Sonoma still wasn’t done.

Company offi cials told Williams to go to their website and set up an order of kitchen cooking supplies and appliances for the Home’s cooking program. The program was set up several years ago so the residents could get together to cook for each other and other residents.

Susan Friedenberg, left, with Vineland resident Rick Toler, center, and Mark Hayward, right, Assistant General Operations Manager, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. for the Greater New York City Area, relax at a Williams-Sonoma table.

There was no dollar limit on what she could order– talk about a dream come true.
So she ordered everything from waffl e irons, portable griddles, mixing bowl sets, dinnerware and fl atware sets to stand mixers and juicers.

“They have given our residents meaningful areas to be with their families and friends,” said Williams.

This order is slated to arrive sometime in December – happy holidays for the residents.

So yes, some dreams do come true.