SOURCE: Joint Mission

Joint Mission

October 31, 2015 19:57 ET

Joint Mission: Making a Veteran's House a Home

New Support for Homeless Vets

WEST PALM BEACH, FL--(Marketwired - October 31, 2015) - When local furniture consignment superstar Elena Johnson sold her beloved True Treasure's stores, her intent was to devote her "retirement years" to a new venture assisting veterans. Elena at 85, and husband "Scrappy" at 95 are on a mission. A mission that was inspired some four years ago when their philanthropic gift of $1,700 routed to a local homeless veteran, lifted him, his wife and five year old son, literally out from under a bridge and into a home new to them. That hand-up led to them both finding good jobs, their son in school, and a veteran family getting back on its feet. That heartwarming incident moved Elena and Scrappy to form a new nonprofit titled Joint Mission. Its vision is to utilize Elena's skills and consignment connections to provide basic furniture essentials to veterans and their families who were formerly homeless.

Working with the local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, West Palm Beach, VA Medical Center, veterans will be selected to receive essential furniture items for their new housing. Items such as a dining table for hot meals, family meetings, homework, and bill paying; or a comfortable bed for a good night's sleep to be well rested for the next day's job hunt. The local VA works with hundreds of vets in a seven county area in an effort to get their lives back on track following their service to our country.

To officially announce the new endeavor, Elena and Scrappy will be taking part in this year's annual Veteran's Day Parade on Sunday November 8th at 2pm on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach. Be sure to look for their 75 foot float being proudly provided by Kauff's Transportation Systems. Elena and Scrappy will be waving to onlookers from their mobile "living room" flanked by uniformed veterans. Following the parade, the couple will meet with the media to officially announce the new project at Home Again Palm Beach, 2353 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, one of the participating consignment stores in the Joint Mission Network that will be supplying veteran furniture needs and helping to provide funding to the organization.

"Scrappy and I are so proud to be able to play a part in lending a helping hand to this country's brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us", Elena says with her contagious enthusiasm. "I want my legacy to be more than the lady on TV with big glasses and talking pets, but to be the lady who helped some deserving veterans realize that this country appreciates them so very much!"

To arrange an interview with Elena, Scrappy, or a representative with the local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, please contact:
Russ Morley 561.346.0248

Photo ops and interviews available at the Media Conference at Home Again Palm Beach, 2353 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, 33409.
(Lisa /Jon 561.408.3042)
Sunday November 8, 5pm following the parade.

About Elena Johnson

Elena was a soldier's daughter born in Italy and became a teenage war bride to an American Army Sargent Major serving there. Her late husband had fought in Normandy and four of their five children served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Elena is an acclaimed interior designer and a driven entrepreneur. Her passion for helping veterans because of her lifelong ties to the military and her admiration for those who have served becomes obvious to anyone who has the distinct pleasure of meeting this amazing woman. Elena and her husband Scrappy call Palm Beach Gardens home and sold True Treasures in 2014 after 25 successful years. Elena will celebrate her 86th birthday (November 8) on her float in the Veterans Day Parade.

About Howard C. "Scrappy" Johnson

He shattered the World's Altitude Record in 1958 climbing to 91,246 feet in an F-104 and in recognition of the record Vice President Richard Nixon presented him with the Robert J. Collier trophy for aeronautical achievement. Scrappy served as a fighter pilot in the US military for 30 years, flying over 7,000 hours in 15 different fighter planes during his career in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Colonel Johnson retired in 1972 after receiving not only the Collier trophy but two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen Air Medals. Scrappy is an inductee of the Florida Aviation Hall Fame and the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame. He was a founder and remains active in the Red River Rats, a charitable Vietnam War fighter pilots organization that benefits the children of deceased fighter pilots. Scrappy plans to wear his flight suit in the parade, assuming it still fits.

About Joint Mission

Joint Mission is a 501(c)(3) Florida nonprofit organization. It was founded by Elena and Scrappy with the intention of assisting area veterans and their quest to build a new life after becoming homeless but having the desire to lift themselves and their families onto the right track. There are many worthy and needed veterans assistance organizations in the area. The niche Elena discovered was that the need for basic living furniture essentials was not being met. Her goal is to turn a formerly homeless vet's house into a welcoming home. The long-term goal is to build a template here and take the organization to a national level.

How Veterans are Selected and Assisted

Joint Mission will be collaborating with the local VA to find the veterans who are most in need of this service. Based on financial status and particular need, the VA will relay recommendations for basic essential furniture items to Joint Mission who will then proceed to fulfill and deliver those requests from furniture available and in stock or purchase needed items from JM funds. At this writing, an association of 7 consignment stores have agreed to be part of the JM network of caring.

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