Veterans Voices of Canada is gearing up to launch a new fundraising venture.
“We are going outside of the box to fund our organization and all of the advocacy work that we do,” explained Al Cameron, Veterans Voices of Canada founder.
“As many know, our mission is to honour our past and present military and first responders through on-camera historical documentation and educational displays, as well as tributes throughout the year.
“We do this through interviewing veterans, and we also have our History Interest and Learning Centre which is basically a micro-museum at this point – we are hoping it’s going to continue to grow,” he said. “All of this takes money to make it happen.”
Enter the concept for the Veterans Voices of Canada Antique and Specialty Shop.
“We will basically be selling items that people and businesses donate to us to help to support our organization,” he said, adding that so far, donations have run the gamut from hand-crafted model ships to small antique cabinets.
“Basically, (we want) the smaller kinds of items that you would see in an antique store or an upper-scale kind of thrift shop,” he said. “We are also looking for specialty items that people might have in their attics or around their houses that they no longer feel a need for.
“It’s another way to support and help fund the work that we do.”
The Veterans Voices of Canada Antique and Specialty Shop will be located at 5015 – 50th St. – the previous location of the History Interest and Learning Centre, which is set to be housed in Red Deer’s Parkland Mall.
“It’s always exciting to make a new initiative happen – I’m looking forward to seeing the support that we will get – and to see the vibe and the buzz that will make this happen,” said Cameron.
“I’m also looking forward to seeing people come out to support us in a different way – and to help us be able to do what we do.
“Our History Interest and Learning Centre, as mentioned, has moved to Parkland Mall and we are hoping that it will be open by the end of May,” he said, adding that donations of artifacts are always being collected for it as well.
Meanwhile, Cameron said other plans to bolster advocacy on the behalf of veterans are taking shape.
“We just want to honour our past and present heroes and our service personnel in all the ways that we can. We are building on those ways to continue to make that happen.”
Looking back, Cameron’s first interview for Veterans Voices of Canada took place in 2005.
“I love history. I love working with history, and I love working with the people who have helped make history,” noted Cameron about what keeps him inspired to press on with the work of Veterans Voices.
Since launching Veterans Voices, Cameron has traveled coast to coast, documenting the stories of over 2,000 veterans.
“For me, it’s about the people – the veterans especially. And the families – seeing the enthusiasm they have when they talk about Veterans Voices of Canada and all that we are doing.
“It just tells me that this all needs to continue – we need to keep doing this. We just need the support to keep doing it.”
For more information, check out vetvoicecan.org or find them on Facebook.
Cameron mentioned that there is always a need for volunteer help as well. “It takes a lot of people to do this.”
If you have an item to donate to the Veterans Voices of Canada Antique and Specialty Shop, email email@example.com.