Goodwill, USF and Veteran Air Conditioning work collectively to assist veteran in want

When veterans are in need, the community comes together to help. The air conditioning in the home of former US Marine Horras Sheffield and his wife Willie Mae was not working, but they could not afford to replace the unit. After a big storm hit the area a few years ago, their house was damaged and they just couldn’t catch up on the repairs.

Thanks to a collaboration between Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services program, led by Program Manager Todd Hughes, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatees Office of Veteran Success, represented by Program Administrator Carlos Moreira, and Veterans Air Conditioner Owner Kevin Henault, the Sheffields recently installed a new system – free of charge for them.

Funds from Goodwill’s Special Emergency Resources for Veterans (SERV) fund were used to purchase the materials, and the labor was donated by Veteran Air Conditioning. Henault – a veteran who has worked with goodwill for years and is a member of Goodwill’s Veterans Services Advisory Board as well as the newly formed Goodwill Advisory Council – has done similar good deeds in the past for veterans mentored by Goodwill’s Veterans Program.

Horras Sheffield is an excellent veteran who deserves the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, and Vietnamese Campaign Medal. He has lived in Sarasota since 1966. The couple built their current home in 1975. Sheffield, a 27-year-old Allstate Insurance agent, became a self-employed entrepreneur, opening numerous stores including restaurants, a liquor store, gas station and nightclub. In 2001 he joined the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and became its first black chairman. The couple have deep roots and engagements in this community.

Further financial and practical support is sought to replace the roof of the Sheffields and repair drywall damage. For more information, please contact Carlos Moreira at 941-359-4291 or cjmoreira@sar.usf.edu.

Submitted by Sharon Kunkel