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Mayor Barrett’s 9th Annual Holiday Drive Supports Local Veterans

December 22, 2015

Mayor Tom Barrett’s 9th Annual Holiday Drive began on Monday, November 23, and ended on Friday, December 18. This year’s Holiday Drive expanded to support both the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) and the veterans receiving care at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. 

The goal of the 9th Annual Holiday Drive was to gather basic household items to supplement MHVI’s Home Starter Kits and expand the efforts to donate items on the patients’ wish list at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center this holiday season.  More than 15,000 donated items were collected this year.

“Our veterans have put everything on the line to protect our freedoms.  Their sacrifices will not go unnoticed as the City of Milwaukee is committed to making the holidays brighter for these courageous individuals,” Mayor Barrett said.  “I’m proud to show our appreciation to Milwaukee veterans and create a positive holiday season for them and their families.”

Since 2007, the City of Milwaukee has held a Holiday Drive for servicemen and women.  City of Milwaukee employees, community partners, businesses and residents have risen to the challenge and collected thousands of toiletries, snacks, goodies and more to help bring a little holiday cheer to those who have sacrificed for our country.

The drive began as a way for the City of Milwaukee to share their gratitude with Wisconsin troops who were far away from their homes during the holidays.  More than 2,000 goodie-filled boxes were shipped to Wisconsin troops serving our country overseas in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.

In 2013, the Holiday Drive took on a new beneficiary: our veterans.  With more and more troops returning home from overseas service every month, the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County formed a partnership to bring awareness to and address the struggles of veterans who face homelessness or difficulties with stable housing.  With the help of the community, 600 complete home starter kits were created for the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative, enough to support hundreds of veterans and their families in the Greater Milwaukee Area.

About the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative
The Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative focuses on homelessness among veterans, specifically through their home support program, furnishing rooms and apartments for veterans when they finally do find a place to live.

The Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative accepts donations of furniture and household items from individuals and businesses and delivers them to veterans and their families setting up their home.  The Home Support program has helped furnish the apartments of more than 900 veterans a year since it began in 2009.  In 2014, MHVI helped 311 veterans and their families move into new living spaces.

About the Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Initiative
The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center has more than 500,000 visits annually, offering primary, secondary and tertiary care to those who dutifully served our country.  The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center continues to meet veterans’ changing medical, surgical and quality-of-life needs.  New programs provide treatment for traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, suicide prevention, women veterans and more. The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center has opened outpatient clinics, and established telemedicine and other services to accommodate a diverse veteran population and continues to cultivate ongoing medical research and innovation to improve the lives of America’s patriots.  The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is ready to provide health care and other medical services to our nation's returning OEF/OIF/OND Service members and is grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other places around the world.

9th Annual Holiday Drive Donors
The following companies and organizations generously donated to the 9th Annual Holiday Drive.

Brewers Community Foundation, Inc.

Donation of $10,000

Lamar Advertising

In-kind billboard advertisement


250 boxes of cereal, 250 boxes of mac n’ cheese, 250 reusable grocery bags, 100 gifts cards (each $10)

Jewish Community Center

300 Towels, 177 boxes of granola bars, 15 boxes of juice boxes, 60 bags of popcorn

Marcus Corporation

100 movie tickets

Milwaukee Art Museum

25 admission vouchers

Milwaukee Public Museum

50 admission vouchers

Urban Ecology Center

Five membership passes

Friday’s Front Row

100 free appetizer gift cards

Jimmy John’s Subs.

100 coupons for one platter of sandwiches


For more information, please visit the 9th Annual Holiday Drive website

November 11, 2016 - On Veterans Day, Mayor Barrett kicked-off the 10th Annual Holiday Drive at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

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(414) 286-CITY (2489)

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Tom Barrett


Phone: 414-286-2200
Fax: 414-286-3191 

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