By Jill Lufrano
RENO — Earning money with Facebook isn’t exclusively reserved for Mark Zukerberg’s any longer. More often, schools and most-importantly charities have found a way to gain funds through the use of click-it-and-win-it campaigns. Just as the Reno Veterans Guest House, who had the top honor of having the most “votes” at 7,499 at 6 p.m. Thursday to win a whopping $250,000 grand prize to build an addition to its hosting complex.
The next closest in votes was the Ronald McDonald’s House in Detroit, Mich. with 3,187.
The Veterans Guest House, founded in 1994 when two vets, Chuck Fulkerson and Dick Fhyno, realized veterans and family members were sleeping in their cars while visiting area hospitals as they did not have the fans to stay elsewhere They vowed to never allow it to happen again on their watch and to provide vets and their families a safe, arm and clean place to stay.
The Veterans Guest House is located at 880 Locust St, Reno. It is a home away from home for service veterans receiving medical treatment and for their families. It’s a three-story house offering see-private bedrooms and baths, kitchen facilities and other amenities and is located near the Veterans Association hospital.
“”The need for temporary hosting for veterans and family members while they receive medical care continues to grow,” the foundation wrote in its bid to garner clicks on Facebook. “The VAMC is forecasting the number of veterans in the 100,000 square mile service area is to grow to 160,000 by 2020, a 26-percent increase … As the veteran population grows and ages and the economic circumstances continue to be challenging the need for the Veterans Guest House will continue to grow as well and these funds will help them serve more veterans and their families.”
According the the Veterans Guest House the foundation has seen a 50 percent increase over the same time last year. Since they began serving vets in 1994, they have seen a 500 percent increase in the annual goes night numbers. The guest house serves veterans who come from 12 northern Nevada counties and eight northeastern California counties. They travel miles for care.
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The non-profit guest house plans to build on to its complex. It would allow guest house to establish a building fund and proceed with planning to meet the growing needs of veterans and their families in the future.
The Apros in Action Contest on Facebook began in April 2011. The Home Depot Foundation’s Facebook fan’s won the first round, taking home $25,000. This put thin in the hat to compete for the grand prize of $250,000. Second and third prize will win $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.
“Winning $25,000 from the Home depot during the first round of Aprons in Action was such an honor, and we are so thankful for the recognition and the support from our community” said Noreen easy, Chief Operating Officer of Veterans Guest House. “If we actually win the grand prize of $250,000, it would allow our organization to immediately establish a building fund and proceed with planning to meet the growing needs of our veterans ad their families into the future. So we encourage everyone to go to Facebook and vote!”
To vote, go to Facebook by clicking this link: http://apps.facebook.com/home_depot
The Home Depot Foundation’s Facebook fans helped 11 nonprofit organizations win $25,000 each to better their communities. In the Grand Prize round of the competition, these monthly winners from across the country will compete for the grand prize:
• April 2011: Great Falls Children’s Receiving Home (Great Falls, MT)
• May 2011: Ronald McDonald House of Detroit (Detroit, MI)
• June 2011: Jerusalem House (Atlanta, GA)
• July 2011: New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (New Orleans, LA)
• August 2011: Northwest Hospital Foundation (Seattle, WA)
• September 2011: Taylor VFW Post #4422 (Taylor, MI)
October 2011: Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (Wheaton, IL)
• November 2011: Utah State Veterans Home (Salt Lake City, UT)
• December 2011: Lifebuilders of Detroit (Detroit, MI)
• January 2012: Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit (West Bloomfield, MI)
• February 2012: Veterans Guest House (Reno, NV)
Voting runs from March 1 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, through March 31 at noon Eastern Time.