Operation Welcome You Home | Illinois

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Our Work

The grants, donations, and gifts that we share with those who serve our country are made possible by the generous donations and grants from our supporters and the proceeds from our annual Run For The Brave 5K Run/Walk. 

ALL our donations and grants benefit Veterans and active duty Military!

Please consider supporting Operation Welcome You Home, NFP.


  • December 2023. For Christmas, OWYH surprised and gifted active Navy Mom of five with a tandem stroller ensemble, complete with rain cover.


  • November 2023. OWYH helped a Veteran who lived in an assisted living facility become independent by transitioning to an apartment. We were able to provide bedroom furniture, a dinette set, and a chair with ottoman because of our generous supporters. Thank you to Veterans Voices who provided new bedding and linens.

  • Ongoing. OWYH donated scooters and lift chairs to Veterans in need.


  • Ongoing. OWYH purchased supplies for homeless Veterans' dinnerware packages.


  • November 2023. OWYH purchased clothing from the Hines VA Gift Shop for a Hines resident. The Veteran was grateful!


  • August 2023. Provided gas cards to Veteran, enabling Veteran to drive to food pantry.


  • July 2023. Donated dinner sets to Hines VA Homeless Unit. Also supplied disposable plates, silverware, and solo cups for lunches delivered bi-weekly.


  • July 2023.Operation Welcome you Home provided over 300 Christmas Stockings to Veterans, distributed Girl Scout cookies, hygiene, and clothing items, $$ and snowmen cheer. Thank You Hines VA and everyone who contributed. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To all the men and women past, present, and future who proudly are protecting this great nation, we thank you. (see Christmas in July flyer here)


  • June 2023. Donated dinner sets to Hines VA Homeless Unit. Also supplied disposable plates, silverware, and solo cups for lunches delivered bi-weekly.


  • May 2023. Donated tributes to the Yorkville American Legion Post 489, the Judd-Kendall VFW Post 3873, and the Naperville American Legion Post 43.


  • May 2023. Donated dinner sets to Hines VA Homeless Unit. Also supplied disposable plates, silverware, and solo cups for lunches delivered bi-weekly.


  • April 2023. Donated several hundred serving sets to Hines VA Homeless Pantry. (see photo here)


  • February 2023. Fill and distribute to homeless veterans gallon plastic bags with paper plates, bowls, silverware, and a package of ten santizing wipes.

  • February 2023. OWYH visited veterans at Hines VA hospital, giving them Valentine chocolates and OWYH water bottles.

  • January 2023. OWYH walked through Hines VA thanking veterans and staff by handing out tokens of appreciation.

  • January 2023. Fill and distribute to homeless veterans gallon plastic bags with paper plates, bowls, silverware, and a package of ten santizing wipes.

  • January 2023. OWYH donated to the Will County VA Pantry.

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    While we are not comfortable having fundraisers yet, thanks to the generosity of our many supporters and sponsors, and to the generous donations, we are able to continue our mission of supporting those who protect our freedom.

    We thank our supporters, sponsors, and donors for their generosity: Independent Order of Foresters (IOF), local American Family Insurance Agent Nick D. with a match from American Family Corporate, Tod & Cindy S., Janice Z., Amazon Smile, Birthday fundraiser Stephanie K., Judd, Kendall VFW, Janet T., Walmart, Marty B., Olney C. Allen School, Plainfield Meijer, Nicole P., Plainfield Knights of Columbus, Birthday fundraiser Carole S., Stu & Linda B., James & Patrice L., Hope R.

    In Honor of Donations: Arielle D. - USMC Aron C. Michalski, David & Carol B. & Pam K. - Veterans David Urbaniak & Fred Moussari, Patricia H. - Veteran Thaddeus J. Parker

  • December 2022. The Operation Welcome You Home 4th Annual Secret Santa was a huge success in bringing smiles to forty-seven children during the Holiday Season. We truly would like to say many, many thanks to the sponsors and donors generosity in fulfilling heartwarming magical moments to the children and teens of veterans. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a spectacular memory! The smiles were priceless and so filled with joy.

    Thank you to our awesome volunteers: Sandy, Annie, Denise, Gina, Marty, Audrey, Laura, Gary, Allan, Lee, Cadette Troop 71503, and Ambassador Troop 70934.

    A huge thank you to the Secret Santa sponsors: Plainfield Walmart, New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, FCSLA Life, Veterans Voices, and Naperville American Legion Post 43.

    Special thank you to our donors: Deborah S., Sandy N., Marty B., Jane F., Jeffery B., Lew & Julie B., Susan I., Kristi K., LJ Enterprises, New Lenox A Cozy Fireplace, Robert H., Carol S., Jim & Laura M., Nancy K., Chris & Amy P., Bob & Toni M., John T., Donna V.

    We thank and appreciate Hope Manor Director Mr. Coffee for helping us coordinate the guests, transportation, and helping to create a memorable event with us.

  • September, November, and December 2022. OWYH donated time and resources ($500) to fill the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission's Food Pantry whose doors are open for veterans in need. After the day of shopping, we wondered how the veterans were able to eat the food from the food pantry. We made the decision to fill gallon plastic bags (100+) with three sets of paper plates, bowls, silverware, and a package of ten santizing wipes. (We later learned that some, not all, restaurants have "to-go" utensils/wipes available.)

  • September 2022. A big shout out to Vinny G. and Steve D. who used their muscles, trucks, and gas to deliver four heavy powerlift recliners and an oak bedroom set to veterans in the Chicagoland area, all through recommendations from Hines VA. One disabled veteran, who received a recliner, had been sitting in an old wheelchair with a severely ripped cushion.

  • September 2022. OWYH donated $500 to to the Naperville VFW through their annual Judd-a-Thon. (All donations go directly to the National Home for Children.)

  • September 2022. OWYH sponsored lunch for many veterans at Hines VA Hospital in Chicago.

  • September 2022. OWYH was able to donate to the VFW National Home for Children that provides children and families of active duty military, war veterans, and descendants. Founded in 1925, the Home is a place where families left behind by war (mothers, children, brothers, and sisters) remain together keeping the family circle intact.

  • September 2022. Five power lift remote recliners were donated to OWYH and we found new homes for all of them. Our veterans who received the chairs were very grateful and helped them in so many ways. Thank you to the generous donors who gifted the recliners.

  • September 2022. Kudos to Carole S., an OWYH supporter, who recently celebrated her birthday and instead of gifts asked for donations to OWYH. Those donations help raise funds to contribute to the purchase of a laptop for a local veteran's son who, through various donations and scholarships, will be attending college to reach his goals. This helped support a dream come true!

  • September 2022. OWYH coordinated much needed home repairs for a local disabled veteran. He could not thank us enough for making this happen through the generosity of a local contractor who donated his labor and materials. Thank you, George!

  • May 2022. OWYH sponsored a new bedroom set including all bedding/linens for a Marine who transioned from being a homeless Veteran, going thru a two year program at a Veteran Center, and has now purchased a beautiful townhome! Congratulations Marine!

  • May 2022. OWYH presented an awesome Weber grill and grill accessories to Hines Fischer House. The grill was dedicated to USMC Edward Biondi. In addition, OWYH provided a multitude of food and refreshments to Fischer House guests and the VA Blind Unit.


  • December 2021. Secret Santa Day Shopping, at Walmart, with children of Veterans from Hope Manor. The children were beaming from the moment they entered the Christmas Room OWYH set up for them. They were greeted with jingle bell necklaces and assigned to an Elf to help them shop. Clothing, toys, bicycles, and more were selected by the children. They then returned to Santa's room for photos and then proceeded to select more gifts from a special gift table which included toys, clothes, blankets, and more that were donated by supporters. A treat table of hot choclate, cupcakes, and candy was donated by Dunkin Donuts and Walmart. The final stop was visiting Santa and selecting a new stuffed animal. Many, many photos were taken of smiling children. Our hearts were warmed to hear, "This was the best day ever for me."

  • November 2021. Operation Welcome You Home NFP donated to the Fischer House and Freedom Path House several hundred dri-tech t-shirts, several boxes of various mens clothing, fluffy velour bathrobes, mens sleepwear pajamas, boxes and boxes of books, DVDs, canned goods, hand knitted/crocheted winters hats and scarves, toothbrushes, two beautiful framed puzzle pictures (40x40) (assembled by an OWYH supporter). NOTE: All clothing donated was new.

  • November 2021. Operation Welcome You Home NFP donated two Singer sewing machines to Hines VA Fischer House.

  • October 2021. Hines VA Hospital Blind Unit and Hope Manor Veteran Campus were both presented with sewing machines, notions, fabrics, and sewing baskets. The facilities have instructors which enable them to lead sewing projects, mending, and crafts.

  • March 2021. Financial Grant WW II Veteran for housing March.

  • February 2021. Grant for USMC who is struggling with cancer.

  • February 2021. Paper Drive for Hope Manor Veterans Campus and Midwest Shelter For Veterans.

  • February 2021. Sponsored Paper Products Drive for Veterans at Hope Manor 64 Unit Veteran Campus and Midwest Shelter for Veterans Commissary. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps), which veterans in need often receive, astonishingly does NOT consider paper products as essential. Veterans, and their family members, often go without toilet paper, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, facial tissues, disinfecting wipes, and other products while trying to get back on their feet.

  • January 2021. Shipped packages overseas.


  • October 2020 thru December 2021. Shipped packages overseas.

  • December 2020. Presented USAF Veteran with snow blower, hunting gear, and fishing gear for his ActionTracker. Also replace/upgraded chair armrests.

  • December 2020. Christmas magical shopping for forty children of Veterans.

  • Thanksgiving 2020. OWYH delivered over ninety pumpkin/sweet potato pies, Reddi Whip, Thanksgiving cards, and gift cards to Veterans in the community.

  • August 2020. OWYH purchased and donated pallets of toilet paper, paper towel, cleaning supplies, and masks to Hope Manor Veterans Home.

  • July 2020. A donation was made assisting a local homeless veteran, living in his car, for short term hotel until apartment subsidizing is approved.

  • June 2020. Donation given for an Agent Orange Widow with three sons, two Army & one Marine needing assistance for HVAC system in her home.

  • May 2020. Grant for Korean Veteran in need of assistance for medical needs.

  • April 2020. OWYH purchased and donated $7,500 of PPE to Hines Va Hospital and Clinics.

  • Grant for Korean Veteran in need of assistance for medical needs.

  • March 2020. Donated large quantity of cases of toilet paper and paper towel to Hope Manor Veterans Home.


  • December 2019. Living room set for Vietnam Veteran.

  • December 2019. Christmas clothes and lunch for Warrior's Daughter.

  • Clothing drive for Hope Manor Veterans.

  • Grant to Joliet VFW to help fund new wheelchair specialty wheel chair lift for Veterans with specialty needs ie wheelchairs, unable to climb stairs, etc.

  • October 2019. OWYH was gifted a Jazzy Mobile Chair and we presented to Plainfield American Legion enabling a member to continue to visit. OWYH purchased the two specialty batteries needed.

  • October 2019. Grant for ten Bicycles, helmets, baskets including chains with locks for Veteran Housing Hope Manor, Joliet, IL. OWYH also donated $300 of toiletries, paper products and food.

  • October 2019. Grant to help Afghanistan Wounded Warrior and his 6 yr old daughter. furnish his home complete with 2 bedroom sets, dinette, set and living room furniture.He received a mortgage free home, from Building For Heroes.

  • October 2019. Grant for Security Deposit for Veteran who was living out of his car. He now is living in an apartment and we provided a bedroom set including mattress with all protectors for him.

  • September 2019. Grant for 1/2 month security deposit to help Vietnam Veteran obtain apartment. He has been living in his car.

  • August 2019. Grant for two weeks at motel for Veteran needed until he can move into subsidized housing.

  • August 2019. Grant to paint full interior of Veteran's home who has a young child needing house painted per doctors orders prior to being released from hospital.

  • July 2019. Presented Wounded Warrior with USMC jacket, shirt and a special "belt " to help with fishing.

  • March 2019. Grant for Veteran experiencing financial distress.

  • February 2019. Grant for Carol Stream Park District Veterans Memorials.

  • Eagle and Solar Light for DuPage Veteran Center. We sponsored pole w/light several years ago.


  • October - December 2018. OWYH Sponsored Flagpole complete with Eagle, Lock Box, Solar Light and Plaque at St. Bede Academy, Peru, IL where a running track has established in his honor. 

  • October - December 2018. OWYH gifted $500 Jewel gift cards for Caring For Patriots Thanksgiving For Veterans 2018 Project.

  • October - December 2018. Ongoing gifts of comfort blankets and cards to spouses and siblings whose Hero is now guarding the gates of Heaven.

  • An invitation has been extended to Veterans and their Spouse to attend free yoga classes held Thursdays at:

    DuPage Veteran Center
    750 Shoreline
    Aurora, IL
    Call 630.585.1853 for more info

  • October - December 2018. US Navy Ryan Shannon and his family were given a mortgage free home this past November. To help them, OWYH gifted a new kitchen set. Ryan’s children were especially happy sitting at their new table to enjoy family meals.

  • October - December 2018. USMC CPL Colin Dunne and his family were also given a mortgage free home recently. OWYH presented Colin with a snowblower and just in time as we had lots of snow on the same.

  • October - December 2018. A Grant has just been given to a Wounded Warrior and her family in need of financial assistance to help make their Christmas merrier.

  • October - December 2018. Grant for a Veteran needing assistance to help turn back on his heat.

  • October - December 2018. Hand crocheted blanket and hat sent to new baby of a Veteran.

  • October - December 2018. A big shout out to Olney Elementary School, Aurora, IL for collecting and donating household items and non-perishable foods which will be distributed thru Will County VA. Great job and a big thank you to all the Teachers and Students.

  • October - December 2018. Will County VA has very nice shower facilities for Veterans. To help them, OWYH purchased towels (bath and hand) and wash cloths to fill their "linen closet". Also donated sweat shirts and pants so when they step out of the shower, they have clean clothing which they will be able to take with them. We also donated hand crocheted "beanies".

  • On a continuous basis, we also send out get well cards and hand crocheted lap blankets to Veterans who are experiencing health issues.

  • June 2018. Grant for wife and children of Fallen Hero.

  • May 2018. Grants for thirteen VietNam Veterans.

  • May 2018. Grant for Iraq Veteran who lost everything due to a fire at his apartment.

  • April 2018. Grant for Vietnam Veteran wishing for laptop to write poems and more.

  • March 2018. Wedding gift for Gold Star Sister.

  • March 2018. Grant for homeless Vietnam Veteran to help get him into an apartment.

  • March 2018. Grant for Veteran experiencing financial hardship with final expenses for his wife.

  • January 2018. OWYH presented a Grant to a local Wounded Warrior (Marine) experiencing financial hardship having to pay back VA benefits due to glitches in the system.


  • December 2017. OWYH and Only C Allen Elementary School, Second Grade, adopted five local Veterans without family for Christmas. Non-perishable foods, hygiene products, shirts, handmade hats, plush robes, and PJ bottoms along with Christmas cards made/donated by students from Good Shepard Lutheran School in Downers Grove.

  • November 2017. Thanksgiving Butterball checks were sent with holiday cards to ten Veterans helping with their Holiday Dinner.

  • November 2017. 20ft Commercial Flagpole complete with Eagle top and Cleat Box for Dedication Military Garden at Metea Valley HS.

  • November 2017. Luggie Scooter with accessories for Female Army Veteran who suffered a stroke while serving in Korea.

  • October 2017. Complete full size bed and bedding including comforter set, pillows, two sets of sheets and all protectors for Korean War Veteran, and his wife, who was homeless and, thru Will County, was able to move into apartment.

  • October 2017. ActionTracker chair with customized accessories including snowblower to USMC James Poggi.

  • July 2017. Bling shirts and swag bags for Gold Star Mother Event.

  • August 2017. Grant for Vietnam Veteran whose illness requires long term stay including isolation and funds to help caregiver (his wife) expenses.

  • August 2017. Grant for Commercial Flagpole complete with Eagle top, Cleat Box with lock and sponsor plaque for Military Dedication Garden at Metea High School, Aurora, IL.

  • July 2017. A Soldier returning from a ten month deployment was presented with a nice gift certificate to Coopers Hawk for a date night with his wife.

  • July 2017. An Army FRG in Chicago held a family picnic with OWYH providing refreshments, 150 goody bags and shirts.

  • July 2017. Grant to Widow of USAF Vietnam Veteran to help with final expenses.

  • July 2017. Grant to recent deployed returnee who is married and three children to help with mortgage as benefits disability benefits have been detailed.

  • Grant assisting Marine single dad with two children.

  • 2017. OWYH donated lawn equipment to an Army Veteran who was recently given a mortgage free home in Illinois.

  • 2017. OWYH donated a John Deere riding lawn mower with snow blower attachment to a Army Veteran who was given a home in Illinois.

  • Grant providing financial assistance (funeral expenses) for a Veteran killed in a tornado.

  • Grant for Great Lakes Sailors Christmas Day Luncheon.

  • Grant for Vietnam Veteran assistance.

  • Grant for WWII Veteran assistance.

  • Grant to NRFOV to help Veterans with repairs, et al.

  • Purchased/Gifted several Female Veterans with a new winter coat, scarf, gloves, and winter boots.

  • Sponsored Healing Garden and patio furniture for female Veteran shelter.

  • Grant for USMC injured in an head-on auto crash.

  • Groceries for Gold Star Mom.

  • Grant for US Army Soldier Reservist for medical bills.

  • Grant for USMC family to offset airfare to return USMC to their homeland for burial.

  • Grant for USMC quadrupleaAmputee to offset traveling expenses with caregiver for double arm transplant.

  • Fashion Show/Luncheon at Drury Lane Theatre for Wounded Warrior Spouses.

  • Co-Host with DuPage County Veteran Center Holiday Dinner consecutively 2013, 2014, 2015. Various homemade contributions from Supporters all years. 2015 in addition to food a Clothing Drive was sponsored by Lexus of Naperville including shoes, business suits, outerware (gloves, jackets, boots, hats) and various other clothing.

  • Donated 225 Hats embroidered with five branch seals and Thank A Veterans embroidery to the DuPage County Homeless Veteran Standdown.

  • Grant to family of US Army Dwight Maness.

  • Gold Star Family Thinking of You flowers.

  • Commitment to Midwest Shelter Homes Healing Garden in 2016 for female home.

  • Vietnam Disabled Veteran Grant.

  • Manteno Nursing Home Grant.

  • Baby/children gifts (assistance) for Wounded Warriors - ongoing.

  • Homeless Veteran Assistance including food, gas and boarding, gift cards - ongoing.

  • ActionTracker mobile wheelchairs: USAF Tony Simone, US Army Cameron Crouch.

  • John Deere ridinglLawnmower/snowerblower: USMC Lemune “James” Danahan, USMC Matthew Clarke, USMC Andrew Derrig, USAF Captain Anthony Simone.

  • Marine JROTC Grants.

  • Vietnam Veteran assistance hardship/funeral expenses – ongoing (names not stated for privacy).

  • Assistance to terminally ill Afghanistan Veteran and his family: no name for privacy.

  • Housecleaning services for Wounded Warrior’s Spouse.

  • 2012 Wounded Warrior Project Grant.

  • Donations to Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.

  • Hines VA Hospital Hospice Unit sponsorship of two rooms.

  • Gold Star Parents Appreciation Day and Dinner (3).

  • Wounded Warrior/Spouse/Parents Appreciation Day and Dinner (3).

  •  Run For The Brave 5K 2013/2014/2015 Honored Wounded Warriors Grants.

  • New bed/mattress to a WWII Veteran.

  • 2013/2014/2015 sponsorship of Walleyes Unlimited USA Fishing Outing.

  • Weekend for Wounded Warrior and his spouse/parents/children to be honored at 2015  Run For The Brave 5K Run.

  • Commercial grade/installation of flagpole at the DuPage Veterans Center.

  • Chicago Wolves outing Hines VA Veterans/Marine JROTC.

  • Bowling night of fun for Hines VA Veterans (4).

  • USA Wounded Warriors Ice Hockey Grant (2014).

  • Airfare for Gold Star Father.

  • Airfare for family to visit their Warrior at Bethesda Grants to/for Wounded Warriors - ongoing.

  • Coal City tornado Veterans Grant including shirts.

  • Ongoing visits to Hines VA Hospital donating new hats, gloves, scarves, robes, PJs, socks, shirts, undergarments, DVDs, games, books, cash for each Veteran, and more.

  • DuPage Standdown sponsorships of hats/cookies for 225 Veterans.

  • Grant for USMC special needs sister.


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Copyright ©2022. Operation Welcome You Home (OWYH), a not-for-profit organization, is tax-exempt qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 1750 W. Ogden Avenue, Ste 2062 | Naperville, IL 60567