Point Pleasant Elks purchase coffee to support veterans

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE FERRARO The group purchased the coffee on March 19 which will go into welcome home kits produced by the Philadelphia United Service Organizations.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The Point Pleasant Elks purchased over $1,000 worth of coffee from the Lacey Perlmutter Shoprite Supermarket on March 19, all to benefit those who serve in two unique ways.

The group purchased products from “The Coffee Platoon,” whose proceeds support Bridging the Gap for Veterans Foundation as well as a few other local groups serving veterans.

Purchased coffee was then donated to the Philadelphia United Service Organizations to be used for its welcome home kits for the returning troops.

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Nancy DeVito, Elks Veteran’s Committee chairperson, said she was glad the group could give back and follow its annual mission.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Elks had grappled to find options to support local veterans. With the help of Bridging the Gap founder Mike Ferraro, they came up with the plan. 

“We can’t go into the nursing homes, and I’m not sure if we’re able to do fishing trips this year, so I figure this is a great way to get something out there to let them know that we’re still thinking of them,” said Ms. DeVito. 

Mr. Ferraro, a Manasquan Elks member himself, runs the Bridging the Gap for Veterans Foundation. The group focuses on bringing needed services to military veterans and first responders.

He was glad the Elks stepped up to help veterans in need.

“They have a phenomenal veterans committee run by Nancy DeVito and she does a wonderful job,” said Mr. Ferraro. “I know they say charity, but they actually live it, they have a power and a purpose behind it.”

He said the sale of the coffee, like the large amount purchased by the Elks, supports Bridging the Gap in accomplishing its services.

“What we do is we help bring veterans career coaching, we help with scholarships for people who want to be police officers at the police academy and also funding for service dogs,” said Mr. Ferraro. 

Along with helping Bridging the Gap and similar charities with the purchase, “The Coffee Platoon” products will go directly to returning veterans in welcome home kits consisting of goods needed to restart life after service, according to Ms. DeVito. 

“I thought it would be a nice addition to put the coffee in, because it’s not only helping with the welcome home kits but it’s also helping with all these other entities,” said Ms. DeVito. 

The kits consist of appliances, kitchen goods and much more to help jumpstart returning troops. 

“I thought it was a great opportunity to serve both [initiatives],” said Ms. DeVito. 

For more information on the Point Pleasant Elks, visit pointpleasantelks.org. 

For more information on the Bridging the Gap for Veterans Foundation, visit bridgingthegap.vet.

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