Monthly Archives: January 2014

First Job Fair in Opelika was a Success

ImageYesterday our team in Opelika held their first job fair. A local news station came down to talk to the team and capture the action. Here is what they had to say:


A non-profit organization called Still Serving Veterans, created to empower and help veterans, held its first job fair in Opelika, Ala. today, Jan. 23. Retired warriors in Alabama and Georgia attended the event in hopes of finding jobs, enhancing their resumes, and network with various companies looking for workers.

Still Serving Veterans began in Huntsville, Ala. in 2006. The organization was originally created to serve severely wounded veterans. However, Bill Koch, the Director of Still Serving Veterans, explained that the mission changed for the better. Now, the organization serves all healthy and wounded veterans of all era.

The organization came to Opelika in May of 2013. About 30 veterans attended the first job fair, and Still Serving Veterans members were confident that they would see bigger number next time.

“We moved to Opelika and opened an office here, because of the city’s proximity to Fort Benning,” Bill Koch said. “Veterans do not have to search and wonder about who and what groups are out there to help them. Veterans can just come to us, and we will take care of them.”

All Still Serving Veterans services are free to veterans.


Jerry Martin is a veteran who worked for the National Guard for 34 years.

“This is my very first job fair ever,” Martin said. “I still want to work for another 10 to 20 years. I would love to score a job here. However, I know this is a building block for me. I’ll probably see some of these same individuals again in different job fairs. I’ll learn skills today that I will be able to use in the near future as well. “

Another veteran, 38 year old Jeremy Ellis, landed his first civilian job as work force development associate for the Opelika office of Still Serving Veterans. Ellis was medically retired after 20 years of serving in the US Army infantry.

“I joined the Army infantry when I was 17, right out of high school,” Ellis. “I retired at 37. This is my first civilian job, and it is so different from being a soldier.”

Ellis said he enjoys the new job he started August of 2013. He likes that his job focuses on helping other veterans find jobs.

“Taking care of a brother, sister and fellow combat or veteran and those who served their time is such an honor,” Ellis said. “To help warriors transition and find jobs is amazing. When some of these guys call me and thank me to say, ‘I got a new career, money is in my account, food is on the table, bills are paid.’ That’s the biggest thing.”

Interested veterans in the Chattahoochee Valley can visit Still Serving Veterans website at:

Veterans can make appointments to discuss health care, benefits, jobs and more.


Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Teach-In Days at Local Schools

MLK DayStill Serving Veterans and the City of Huntsville Office of Multicultural Affairs, in conjunction with the Huntsville City Schools, will be conducting the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Teach-In Days at area local elementary, middle and high schools on January 17, 2014. Community volunteers will be facilitating activities that honor Dr. King’s lifelong vision and commitment to unity, progress and nonviolence, principles that should be embraced by all human beings.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Federal Commission identified the King Holiday as “a day to affirm the American ideals of freedom, justice and opportunity for all. A day when the community rids itself of barriers which divide it and comes together as one. A day for families to share together, to reach out to relatives and friends and to mend broken relationships. A day when all people of all races, religions, classes and stations in life put aside their differences and assemble in a spirit of togetherness.”

For these reasons, Still Serving Veterans and the City of Huntsville Office of Multicultural Affairs in conjunction with the Huntsville City Schools seeks to elevate the national King Holiday above being just another day off for students, faculty, and staff. Dr. King’s lifetime commitment to the struggle for racial inequality through nonviolent social change has left an indelible mark upon both the national and international communities, and services as a viable model for achieving the implied goals of our democratic society.MLK & quote

Founded in 2006, Still Serving Veterans’ (SSV) mission is to empower veterans, including wounded warriors and their families, by helping them reintegrate into the workforce and community. Services include outreach and education, individual case management, referral to mental health counseling with a focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, long-term career development and employment placement, financial planning, and help securing VA benefits. SSV works with veteran businesses and coordinates employment opportunities with the Service Disabled and Veteran Owned Businesses in Madison County and throughout Alabama

For more information, call Shannon Drake at (256) 883-7035 – office or (256) 755-1951 – cell or send email responses to

Resource Spotlight: OneHarvest Food Ministries

Welcome to the first “SSV Resource Spotlight!” Jenny Lux, our Research Coordinator, will spotlight a resource from our Community Resource Book. These “Resource Spotlights” will cover resources at the local, state, and national levels. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please contact us here, through our “Contact Us” form, or email us at

What is OneHarvest?

One Harvest color logo

OneHarvest is a non-profit, non-denominational, faith based organization that is committed to helping American families. OneHarvest offers affordable, pre-packaged, high quality food boxes. 

By partnering with local churches, OneHarvest is able to offer a once monthly distribution giving people in the community an opportunity to save, serve and connect.

They truly believe that food ministry is an awesome and effective way to serve and connect with the community. Their heart is ministry, feeding people is the bonus. (

Who can order and are there limitations?

Anyone can order from OneHarvest, there are no income limitations. Plus there are no limits to how many boxes or what kind of boxes you can get. For example, you can order any number of the Specialty Boxes without having to order a family box (#1 on the Menu). OneHarvest serves everyone no matter their need and most locations accepts EBT.

What do I need?

While you do get some dry goods (mixes) with the Family or the More than Enough boxes, the majority of your boxes will have frozen foods. Be sure you have enough freezer space for the items.

What is available from month to month?

From month to month the menus do change, due to what is fresh and available. Click here to view the January 2014 menu, or visit their site for the most updated menu.

How do I order?

You can order through any participating church, go online, or call 1-877-818-1778.

For ordering at a Church:

  • Go to and type in your zip code. The site will show you the names, emails, and phone numbers of your local host sites. You will need to contact your chosen host site to find out the different kinds of payment (i.e.- cash, check, debit card, credit card, or EBT Food Stamps) that they are able to receive. Not all the sites can do it all.

For ordering online or by phone (1-877-818-1778):

  • You need to have your form of payment handy (debit or credit card), along with the name of which host site you plan to pick up from.
  • Make sure you can pick up your items during the host site’s scheduled pick up times.

You can also write a note authorizing a person you trust to pick up the items in your name if you have transportation issues.

If I need to pay with EBT Food Stamps, where do I go?

Trinity United Methodist Church – Huntsville (607 Airport Rd. Huntsville, AL. 35802)

Pickup Time:
Saturday, Jan 18th 2014: Between 8:30am and 9:30am
Site Contact: Gloria Burke
Site Phone: 256-533-7472
Site E-Mail:

—- AND —-

The Brook – Madison (8573 Hwy 72 West Madison, Alabama 35758)

Pickup Time:
Saturday, Jan 18th 2014: Between 9:00am and 10:00am
Site Contact: Wanda Becatti
Site Phone: (256) 837-6633
Site E-Mail:

NOTE: If ordering in Madison with EBT please contact Wanda directly at (256) 503-0485.

What are the deadlines for January 2014?
  • Trinity United Methodist Church’s on-site ordering (EBT Food Stamps, cash, and checks) must be made by Friday, January 10, 2014 @ 5:00 pm Central.
  • The Brook’s on-site ordering (EBT Food Stamps, cash, and checks) must be made by Thursday, January 9, 2014 @ 5:00 pm Central.
  • Online orders (paid for by debit or credit cards) are due in by Sunday, January 12, 2014, by 11:59 pm EST.
  • The pick-up Distribution date is Saturday, January 18, 2014 and pick-up times vary from site to site so be sure to check the exact location.
Are there other Service Members/Veterans using this service?

Yes, there are many people from all walks of life using this outreach service. In fact, a local story of an active duty soldier can be found on the home page of OneHarvest.

What if I’m not in Alabama?

OneHarvest is currently distributing in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (Dallas/Forth Worth & Tyler), Virginia and West Virginia. You can check for locations near you here.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!