Baseball Legend Vin Scully Uses Poetry to End Veteran Homelessness

Vin Scully Gold Coast Veterans Foundadtion

Vin Scully ending veteran homelessness with a holiday Poem

This year Santa was wearing Dodge Blue!Thank you Vin Scully….

The Grinch ain’t got nothin’ on baseball’s most beloved voice, and this Christmas is going to be red, white… and Dodger Blue for veterans. Baseball’s longest-serving announcer (and Navy veteran) Vin Scully has recorded a heartwarming new poem, telling the inspirational story of Ventura County’s favorite “little old lady”.

A widow of two American veterans, Rose Burgess had been living with her caretaker daughter, who died suddenly. Within days of being homeless on the street, and nowhere else to go, this legally blind “Greatest Generation” grandmother went to the Camarillo police station. Over a dozen social service agencies had refused to help her with housing. What transpired at that moment has generated nothing less than a tidal wave of support across all political, age, and gender lines… filling Ventura County’s veterans, civilians, and public officials alike with pride.

His voice still instantly recognizable at 94, Scully had already narrated a series of radio PSA’s for Gold Coast Veterans Foundation this year. His voice can be heard introducing the organization’s new Veterans’ Village housing program, and on several radio PSA’s reminding listeners about the national tragedy of veteran homelessness. In early November, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors heard a personalized greeting from Scully, introducing the team of partners, volunteers, and supporters that came together to prevent Rose from becoming homeless.

But the story was just getting started. By late November, the events leading to Rose’s slide into homelessness, and the story of how a tragedy was averted at the last minute, had already begun to inspire everyone within earshot. After the story was aired on NPR/KCLU radio, and a feature article ran in the Ventura County Star newspaper, unsolicited contributions started rolling in. Previous donors quickly returned after being absent, and there was an immediate increase in calls about all of GCVF’s programs. The story had resonated, across all ages and demographics, with veterans and civilians alike.

By the first week in December, a poem in the classic style of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” had surfaced, telling the story of Rose’s rescue in rhyme. It immediately struck a familiar note for GCVF’s Executive Director Bob Harris. Harris’ late mother Helen had founded RP International, a charity whose research found a cure for a leading cause of blindness. One of RPI’s long-time celebrity supporters – Scully – had recorded several poems for their holiday campaigns over the years. “It was a lightning bolt moment,” says Harris; “this heartwarming poem had just been written, and I remembered how meaningful Vin’s poetry readings had been for my mom’s organization.” With a chuckle, Harris notes how everything lined up as if by magic; “I called Vin that day, and took the poem to his home on the very next day. The moment he read it, he said to get the equipment and record it right then.”

But the importance of the mission, and the lives that will be saved by Scully’s embracing a couple of pages’ worth of rhyme, have far greater implications than just this year’s Christmas season. “By recording this beautiful poem…” says Harris, “Vin has given a voice to our mission of ending homelessness for American veterans and their families… you can’t hear him read this and not be filled with hope”. The poem can be found at GCVF.org (News)

About Gold Coast Veterans Foundation – The leading non-profit serving veterans in Ventura County, GCVF provides everything to prevent and eliminate suffering, homelessness, and poor health/life outcomes for American veterans. GCVF remained open as an ‘essential service’, providing critical services and/or rescuing nearly 100 veterans from homelessness during Covid-19. All services are free of charge. http://www.gcvf.org (805) 482-6550

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