Teen organizes car wash to benefit homeless veterans

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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CHELSEA, Vt. (WCAX) - Right now, more than a thousand Vermont veterans are experiencing homelessness on any given day, according to the federal government.

Taylor Farrell is a Chelsea native who decided to bring her community together Saturday with a car wash to help raise money for homeless veterans.

It all started a few years ago, when the Thetford Academy rising senior noticed a homeless man wearing a hat implying he had served, just like her father.

“I remember sitting there driving with my dad, and I was like, ’Is he a veteran?’ and he was like, ‘Yep,’ and I was like, ‘He’s homeless,’ and my dad was like, ‘It’s a lot more common than you think,’” said Farrell.

Now, Farrell comes full circle as she reunites with old and new friends, supporting the Vermont Office of Veteran Affairs with squeegees and suds.

“I’m very proud. I think it’s a great cause, and they need a little help, so I’m glad we could do something for them,” said Farrell’s father, John Farrell.

Like Farrell, many volunteers say they have a direct connection to a veteran and are also passionate about the effort.

“It feels really special and important. I think my grandfather would be really proud that I’m helping out here today, so that means a lot to me,” said Emi Vaughn of Thetford.

Those in attendance to get a car wash ranged from veterans to folks who stumbled upon the event, who say they left with a clean car and a happy heart.

“It’s a good community, helping with that, we really need that, because there’s a lot of homeless veterans everywhere in this country,” said veteran Ed Thompson of Chelsea.

“The homeless problem has been a real big deal, especially for veterans. They’re challenged because for a lot of them it’s an issue, especially during COVID, that you can’t get the services you need,” said Art Edersheim of Chelsea.

The Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs offers a variety of resources, including four programs that provide transitional housing and financial assistance to those who need an extra hand.

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