Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

Operation Hug A Veteran

Empowering homeless & hospitalized Veterans through the enrichment of literature.

aka OHAV   |   Loiza, PR   |  www.operationhugaveteran.org

Mission

MISSION - Empower homeless & hospitalized Veterans through the enrichment of literature. VISION - To be recognized by our supported homeless and hospitalized Veteran organizations, communities, and stakeholders as a strategic partner in enriching the lives of Veterans. AWARDS - Operation Hug A Veteran (OHAV) is an official Federal Non-Profit Organization under the IRS code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Federal No : 81-1734350. Partnered with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs & the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans to end Veteran homelessness. Members of the National Coalition for the Homeless. United States military veteran led non-profit organization. Inspired by Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird. Founded by an Active Duty U.S. Army family.

Ruling year info

2016

Founder & Executive Director

Iman Malone-Dirige

President of the Board

Desiree Dirige

Main address

PO Box 386 64 Calle San Patricio

Loiza, PR 00772 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

81-1734350

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

OHAV Book Donation at Homeless Veteran Shelters Program

We at Operation Hug A Veteran committ to donating at least 100 books towards homeless Veterans shelters on an annual basis - a step forward in empowering homeless Veterans to pursue educational & professional goals.​​ ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

We at Operation Hug A Veteran committ to donating at least 100 books towards VA hospitalized Veterans on an annual basis - a step forward in empowering hospitalized Veterans during their healing.​ ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
People with diseases and illnesses

We at Operation Hug A Veteran committ to donating at least 300 books towards nationwide VA Stand Downs that support homeless on an annual basis - a step forward in empowering homeless Veterans to pursue educational & professional goals. VA Stand Downs are typically one- to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans can also receive referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. They are collaborative events, coordinated between local VA Medical Centers, other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers.​​ Established January 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

With the help of local volunteers, we at Operation Hug A Veteran committ to reading at least 25 books to VA hospitalized Veterans on an annual basis - a step forward in empowering hospitalized Veterans during their healing.​ Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
People with diseases and illnesses

Meet the literary needs of a hero by donating books towards the OHAV Veterans Day Book Drive that supports homeless & hospitalized Veterans! We at Operation Hug A Veteran wholeheartedly believe that giving books to those both homeless & hospitalized Veterans is a way to say "thank you" for their service to our country. We ask that you donate to Operation Hug A Veteran your brand new or gently used books, novels, and educational materials. All reading materials will be donated to homeless & hospitalized Veterans that reside at VA hospitals and homeless Veteran shelters. ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

Every person deserves a good book to read. We at Operation Hug A Veteran wholeheartedly believe that giving books to those in need is an incredible gift for the holiday season. We ask that you donate to Operation Hug A Veteran your brand new or gently used books, novels, and educational materials. All reading materials will be donated to homeless & hospitalized Veterans that reside at VA hospitals and homeless Veteran shelters. We also accept book donations geared towards children for the holidays. Childrens books will be donated to transitional/permanent housing solutions that house homeless female Veterans and their children. Book donations for children are also accepted to support local Fisher Houses during the holidays - a non-profit organization that provides a home for families of service members that are being treated long term at military hospitals. ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

We are proud to announce the Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird Veteran Scholarship established by Operation Hug A Veteran! Operation Hug A Veteran will work directly with VA-verified homeless Veterans at shelters who have began their educational goals by selecting two candidates per year who have applied towards this prestigious scholarship. Once selected, a check of $250 will be credited to the Busar office of the selected Veterans school, thus all funds will be provided towards their school books and educational supplies. Just like non-profit organization Operation Hug A Veteran, the Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird Veteran Scholarship is established in honor of the Fort Hood Hug Lady.​ ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

The Operation Hug A Veteran Book Club is a combined mission both online and in person. Connecting homeless Veterans, hospitalized Veterans, and civilians through the enrichment of literature. Online meetings and new book reading on a monthly basis. We commit to reading at least twelve books on an annual basis with both homeless & hospitalized Veterans within the Operation Hug A Veteran Book Club on Goodreads. ​​ ​Established September 2017.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Homeless people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

OHAV completed nationwide missions from January 2016 to September 2017 in honor of Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird - Part I

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people,Veterans

Related Program

Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird Veteran Scholarship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

246 care packages, 233 letters of encouragement, 14 bus/travel passes, 4115 hygiene products, 373 canned goods, 114 bottles of water, 426 clothing items, 189 books, 38 linens/bedding, 132 kitchenware.

OHAV completed nationwide missions from January 2016 to September 2017 in honor of Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird - Part II

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people,Veterans

Related Program

Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird Veteran Scholarship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

169 homeless Veterans, 46 female homeless Veterans, four transitioned Veterans within our "Welcome Home" program, & one Veteran has been adopted by a volunteer. 15 States & Puerto Rico.

OHAV Books Donated at VA Stand Downs from September 2017 to Present Day

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people,Veterans

Related Program

OHAV Books at VA Stand Downs for Homeless Veterans Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

97 books in September 2017. 25 additional books as of September 2018. 122 total since 2017.

OHAV Books Donated at Homeless Veteran Shelters from September 2017 to Present Day

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people,Veterans

Related Program

OHAV Book Donation at Homeless Veteran Shelters Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

OHAV Books Donated at Veterans Affairs Hospitals from September 2017 to Present Day

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Homeless people,Veterans

Related Program

OHAV Book Donation to VA Hospitalized Veterans Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

85 books in 2018. 100 books in March 2019. 185 books total as of 07 March 2019.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

Operation Hug A Veteran (OHAV) is a United States military Veteran-led, self-funded non-profit organization established on 01 January 2016, with a nationwide mission of empowering homeless & hospitalized Veterans through the enrichment of literature. ​​​​​​​​<br/><br/>Literature provides every Veteran, both homeless & hospitalized, the opportunity to revitalize their yearn to pursue educational and career goals. Literature provides a mental & emotional haven within the mind during tough times - by combating the mental anguish of homelessness, the negative effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, and depression.<br/><br/>The gift of literature coupled with a warm hug connects human beings in profound ways - through knowledge and human interaction. We hope to provide this form of healing and motivation with Operation Hug A Veteran - a form of philanthropy that every homeless & hospitalized Veteran within our nation deserves.<br/><br/>A simple hug, in honor of "The Hug Lady", is always given.

We target local VA hospitals & homeless shelters within city limits - we provide literature to homeless & hospitalized Veterans within these establishments.<br/><br/>We share awareness of the homeless Veteran population through an active social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to the national population. This social media awareness provides insight on the empowerment of homeless & hospitalized Veterans through the enrichment of literature.

Our capabilities include traveling nationwide to reach out to the homeless Veteran population within homeless shelters as well as hospitalized Veterans within local VA hospitals.<br/><br/>In addition, we've created a social media teamwork with Honorary OHAV Advocates that have donated literature in support of homeless & hospitalized Veterans.

We hold monthly meetings to determine our monthly quota for all programs and overall annual progress.

As of 07 March 2019, OHAV has conducted missions in the following cities -​ Davenport, Iowa Moline, Illinois Chicago, Illinois Honolulu, Hawai'i Monterey, California Vancouver, Washington Portland, Oregon Huntsville, Alabama Atlanta, Georgia Nashville, Tennessee Baltimore, Maryland New York City, New York Atlantic City, New Jersey Alexandria, Virginia Washington, D.C. San Juan, Puerto Rico Philadelphia, Pennsylvania _________________ ​ Operation Hug A Veteran has distributed, donated, and/or volunteered at the following shelters, reading carts, or events that support homeless & hospitalized Veterans - 1. Mary of Humility Shelter Davenport IA 2. Freedom Home Ministries Davenport IA 3. The Baltimore Station Baltimore MD 4. Maryland Center for Veterans Education & Training (MCVET) Baltimore MD 5. Final Salute Inc. Alexandria VA 6. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Stand Down Washington D.C., 2016 7. Caribbean U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Puerto Rico 8. Hacienda de Veteranos, Caguas PR 9. Casa del Peregrino David’s Project, Aguadilla PR 10. De Vuelta a la Vida, Bayamón PR 11. 4th Annual Stand Up for Women Vets by Final Salute Inc. 12. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Stand Down Philadelphia PA, 2017 13. Reading cart at Caribbean U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Puerto Rico 14. OHAV Hurricane Maria Humanitarian Mission in Puerto Rico 15. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Stand Down Philadelphia PA, 2018 16. Reading cart at Philadelphia U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ​17. Reading cart at Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs _________________ Operation Hug A Veteran distribution rollup - 51 Books Donated at Homeless Veteran Shelters 185 Books Donated at VA Hospitals 122 Books Donated at VA Stand Downs 0 Books Read to VA Hospitalized Veterans 50 Books Donated From OHAV Veterans Day Book Drive 0 Books Donated From OHAV Holiday Book Drive 0 Mrs. Elizabeth "The Hug Lady" Laird Veteran Scholarship 38 Nationwide OHAV Missions completed _________________ From January 2016-September 2017, Operation Hug A Veteran was committed to providing homeless Veterans with care packages, bus passes, novels, books, magazines, canned goods, new/gently used clothing, free haircuts, bedding, kitchenware, letters of encouragement, and encouraging them to seek VA support in hopes of reducing the homeless Veteran epidemic. Operation Hug A Veteran then served 169 homeless Veterans, 46 female homeless Veterans, 25 homeless women, & 3 homeless children. We served four transitioned Veterans within our "Welcome Home" program & one Veteran has been adopted by a volunteer. OHAV distributed a total of 246 care packages, 233 letters of encouragement, 14 travel/bus passes, 4115 hygiene products, 373 canned goods/food, 114 bottles of water, 426 clothing items, 189 books/reading materials, 38 linens/bedding items, & 132 kitchenware items.

Financials

Operation Hug A Veteran
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Operation Hug A Veteran

Board of directors
as of 7/27/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Iman Malone-Dirige

Operation Hug A Veteran

Term: 2016 -


Board co-chair

Desiree Dirige

Operation Hug A Veteran

Term: 2016 -

Iman Malone-Dirige

Founder & Executive Director of Operation Hug A Veteran

Desiree Dirige

President of the Board of Operation Hug A Veteran

Chrislyn Morgan

Secretary & Treasurer of the Board of Operation Hug A Veteran

Diem Malone-Dirige

Military Child Book Ambassador of Operation Hug A Veteran

Declan Malone-Dirige

Military Child Book Ambassador for Autism of Operation Hug A Veteran

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Keywords

Serving Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, Combating Veteran homelessness