Veterans Infor Network organizes veterans support in Minnesota

Adopt a Vet

January 5, 2022

Ron Jarvi has been adopting veterans for years. He serves with the Minnesota National Guard, and he participated in an annual Adopt-a-Vet program at a local home for veterans with his previous employer.

So when he joined Infor in 2020 as a senior consultant with Infor Professional Services in the St. Paul, Minnesota, office, he was pleased to learn Infor has a Veterans Infor Network (VIN) business resource group. He got involved and soon suggested the St. Paul VIN chapter adopt some vets during the holiday season.

The result: VIN members adopted 10 vets living at the Hastings Veterans Home near the Infor office as a pilot program that the group may expand across the company.

How Adopt-A-Vet works

The holiday program is organized by the Hastings Veterans Home, a state-run facility where 120 veterans live and are cared for as a community.

“It’s an opportunity for the local community to connect with our local veterans and show up in a different way,” Ron says.

The program matches individual vets with a community member, who makes or purchases a personal gift, then presents their gift in person. For the vets who don’t have family, the program gives them someone to connect with over the holidays.

“This can become an enduring relationship, and the partnership can change over time,” Ron says. For example, with Ron’s previous employer, the volunteers also cooked meals for the vets at the home and dined with them.

Because of COVID restrictions, in-person gift-giving wasn’t allowed this season. But the gifts arrived anyway. VIN adopted 10 vets who have no family. In addition to getting personal gifts for each, VIN and other Infor employees donated items to the other residents, including toiletries, better-quality pillows, and gift cards that support veteran incentives for completing or netting individual program goals.

“In the military, we are trained to develop a commitment of selfless service. And a lot of the Infor employees who are participating have given because they know what that feeling is like,” Ron says. “There is deep gratitude within Infor for the service and sacrifice of our veterans.”

“I cannot adequately express my gratitude to Infor and other donors for the wonderful contributions to our Adopt-A-Vet program,” said Sue Register, volunteer coordinator at Hastings Veterans Home-Domiciliary. “We are not a skilled nursing home, but we are one of the few homes in the nation that works with all ages of veterans, mostly striving to manage PTSD and other adult-onset mental illnesses. Because of these illnesses, we often help them with their chemical dependencies also. There is little to no family involvement for our veterans, so your personal gifts deeply touch them. Many coming from homeless situations are overwhelmed. You are a blessing to all our veterans who served our country with honor and now need our service to them.”

Ron said, “The hope is, as we grow VIN in our St. Paul office, we can find other things we can do for the veterans home, maybe support their facility and grounds.”

VIN members are investigating whether veterans’ homes in other states and other countries where Infor is active have similar Adopt-a-Vet programs, or VIN could start one, noted Terry Roepke, senior project manager in IT and VIN member in St. Paul.

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