Turning Points Veterans Program Receives Thousands of Teens and Rotary
Lorenzo Liberti, a 16-year-old sophomore from Lakewood Ranch High School, donated $30,000 for homeless veterans through the Turning Points Yellow Ribbon Veterans program on Dec. 22 during a presentation checks at Turning Points. On hand to honor Lorenzo and his gift were Florida State Senator Jim Boyd and Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh.
Lorenzo began his journey of giving back when he met a homeless Vietnam veteran two years ago while serving food with his mother, who is a healthcare worker, at Notre-Dame Catholic Church. Lady of the Angels. Lorenzo was moved by his story and pledged to help homeless veterans like him that day. Lorenzo created Heroic Flags and began handcrafting wooden American flags to sell and donate the proceeds to charities that helped homeless veterans. That’s how her relationship began last year with Turning Points. Lorenzo donated two flags for the annual Turning Points dinner and these flags raised over $2,600 during the silent auction.
Last summer, Lorenzo set up a GoFundMe page to raise $50,000 so he could create a homemade wooden flag for a hospital in every state to honor frontline healthcare workers. A portion of the proceeds would go towards sourcing and paying for this project, but the other proceeds would go to Turning Points. Her story has been featured locally and nationally in various media. Lorenzo was recently named “Kid Hero” from GoFundMe for the month of December and has so far raised over $34,000.
Lorenzo wanted to donate the $30,000 to homeless veterans before Christmas, so while he hasn’t reached his overall goal yet, he presented the gift at Turning Points on Dec. 22. “This gift will allow us to have an extraordinary impact on veterans,” said Edwin Robinson, Veterans Program Director, “We are extremely grateful to Lorenzo and this gift.”
Turning Points has helped over 500 families maintain safe and stable housing or end homelessness for those families over the past year. This included over 100 veterans and their families.
Learn more about Lorenzo’s GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/heoric-flags-for-frontline-healthcare-workers.
Rotary donates $18,000
COVID-19 may have changed the way the Rotary Club of Longboat Key honored veterans this year, but it hasn’t stopped them. Through various fundraisers and riding through a hurricane, they raised over $30,000 for three veterans organizations and donated $18,000 of that to the Turning Points Yellow Ribbon Veterans program.
Longboat Rotary Club Key President Brad Marner and other Rotary members visited and visited Turning Points and met with Executive Director Kathleen Cramer and Edwin Robinson, the Yellow Ribbon Program Manager and presented this gift to Turning Points.
“We are strong supporters of our community and our veterans, and that’s why we feel that $18,000 was the right amount for Turning Points and our community to help our veterans,” Marner said when explaining the gift. .
“At Turning Points, we believe in leaving no veteran behind. This includes our homeless veterans and those who are vulnerable and at risk of homelessness. This check allows us to continue to serve our veteran population and we are so grateful for this donation from the Rotary Club of Longboat Key,” said Cramer.
– Submitted by Margi Dawson