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Pride and joy thanks to ‘Sweats for Vets’

Mark Vital and two of his volunteers prepare to distribute gifts at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester.

Mark Vital and two of his volunteers prepare to distribute gifts at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester.

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Region – Hundreds of Massachusetts homeless veterans will be able to show their Bruins, Celtics, Patriots or Red Sox pride this winter thanks to the generosity of those who contributed to the annual drive, “Sweats for Vets.”

The initiative was started by Mark Vital, a sixth-grade teacher at Advanced Math and Science Academy and himself a veteran, several years ago as a way to provide sports-related sweatshirts to homeless veterans each Christmas Eve. Vital’s students also collected hundreds of other smaller items such as hats, gloves and socks throughout the last few weeks.

“We had 370 Boston team sweatshirts and another 450 smaller gifts,” Vital said. “210 sweatshirts and 400 of the smaller gifts were delivered Christmas Eve morning to the Veterans Inc.  homeless shelter on Grove Street in Worcester.”

The remaining sweatshirts were delivered to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston on Christmas Day.

“Finnegan’s Pub of Hudson was our largest donor, donating 100 sweatshirts!” Vital noted.

For more information and to see photos from the two distribution events visit /www.facebook.com/groups/sweatsforvets.

A team of 10 volunteers took four hours to wrap all the gifts.

A team of 10 volunteers took four hours to wrap all the gifts.

Photos/courtesy Mark Vital

Matt Finnegan (l) of Finnegan's Pub in Hudson stands with Mark Vital, the president of Sweats for Vets. Finnegan's was the drive’s largest donor, contributing 100 sweatshirts.

Matt Finnegan (l) of Finnegan’s Pub in Hudson stands with Mark Vital, the president of Sweats for Vets. Finnegan’s was the drive’s largest donor, contributing 100 sweatshirts.

Four veterans enjoy a special breakfast at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester. after receiving their gifts from Sweats for Vets.

Four veterans enjoy a special breakfast at the Veterans Inc. shelter in Worcester. after receiving their gifts from Sweats for Vets.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=44081

Posted by on Dec 26 2013. Filed under Byline Stories, Neighbors helping neighbors, Stories With Good Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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