I made acquaintance with Stacia McDonough about 7 years ago after seeing an article in the Star Ledger with regard to her work with Veterans in honor of her late husband John, a Vietnam Vet.
My wife Harriette made contact with her via phone, and we were soon involved helping Stacia. I was really impressed with her “They Kept Us Safe, Let’s Keep Them Warm Project” helping homeless Vets during the Christmas season. She volunteered with Lyons VA for many years, and finally after much hard work and persistence, she branched off into the 501c-3 nonprofit, “Independence For Veterans”.
I am a 100% Disabled Vietnam Veteran. I served with 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Division, 196th Light Infantry Brigade in I Corp, Chu Lai, Quang Tin Providence from 1970 to 1971 (Firebase Maryann). My disability is from ischemic heart disease, and in 2014 I was the recipient of a heart transplant. I consider myself extremely fortunate and as a result of my life-saving surgery, I am dedicated to helping fellow Veterans in need.
I also belong to the Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 233) and Disabled American Veterans (Chapter 16). I joined those groups shortly after my transplant; however, working with Independence for Veterans gives me my greatest fulfillment.
Stacia is an amazing human being! She works tirelessly for the veterans, always putting them first. Her attitude and energy level is infectious and inspires us to go the extra mile to the get the job done. I really enjoy working with Independence for Veterans, and am looking forward to the coming year, anticipating putting our 2nd disabled Veteran in a home.
As printed in CentralJersey.com - October 7, 2021
MARLBORO – Mike and Kathleen Robbiani of Marlboro have been honored with the 2021-22 Independence for Veterans Volunteers of the Year Award.
According to a press release from Independence for Veterans, for more than 10 years, the couple have been steadfast in their efforts to assist New Jersey veterans in need.
During every Christmas season, they open their home and collect new clothing, toiletries and essentials from Monmouth and Ocean counties.
When their van has been packed with the items that have been donated, the Robbianis help to deliver the donated items to residents at the Lyons and Glen Gardner veterans shelters, according to the press release.
In addition to using their Victorian home as a drop-off location for donated items, the Robbianis pick up donations from individuals and companies throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.
They spread awareness of the plight of homeless veterans by reaching out to all of their contacts, according to the press release.
The couple own Robbiani’s Clocks and Dolls, Marlboro, and they use their business to advocate for New Jersey’s struggling military veterans, said Stacia McDonough, president of Independence for Veterans, a nonprofit organization that benefits the state’s homeless veterans.
“They give of their time without drawing any attention to themselves, not seeking
any praise, and they always do everything with such joy, love and unparalleled
kindness and generosity of their hearts.
“For pausing their personal lives to help our veterans, they are more than worthy of this recognition.
“For always going the extra mile in helping our veterans, for being a shining light of hope for them, we salute Mike and Kathleen. They are a blessing to our veterans,” McDonough said.
“We feel very honored to be able to help our great veterans in any way. All of our veterans have sacrificed so much and it is rewarding to give back. Stacia McDonough is a devoted leader.
“We have known her from the beginning of her journey helping homeless veterans and are so proud of her and her achievements. John (McDonough’s late husband) would be beyond proud of her, too,” Mike Robbiani said.
Kathleen Robbiani has won awards for her work repairing rare, museum quality, vintage and antique dolls. Mike Robbiani repairs unique clocks. For further information, visit www.clockdollrepair.com
For further information about Independence for Veterans, visit www.i4v.org
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