Veterans in Island County will now have help with the financial costs of securing a new job, thanks to our new partnership with Whidbey Community Foundation. After Veterans serve in the military, the costs associated with entering the workforce process can prove to be yet another challenge. The Whidbey Veteran’s Job-Assistance Fund was created to offset that. 

This fund expands the opportunities open to low-income, honorably discharged Veterans who are seeking jobs or a career change. Funds are used for their costs to get employment, like certifications, licensing, tools, and clothing. 

“We have a great opportunity to support those who have devoted themselves to carrying out the mission of protecting our nation’s security,” said Ross Labrenz, Opportunity Council Island County Veterans Programs Specialist. “Now we can provide them with the tools to secure their future.” 

Since retiring to Whidbey Island in 2010, Sheila and George Saul have donated their time and philanthropy dollars to childhood education and veterans’ assistance. Sheila volunteers weekly at Coupeville Elementary School, and George as a caseworker at Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society on base. 

The Sauls connect Sheila’s work in childhood education with their dedication to veterans’ employment. In the same way that learning to read is crucial to child development, they said, securing full-time jobs is a crucial step for veterans to become self-sufficient individuals and households. 

Melissa Brown, director of Opportunity Council’s Island County location, expressed how grateful our staff are for the Sauls’ generosity. 

“We are honored to help facilitate this important mission,” she said. 

Partnering with the Sauls and the Whidbey Community Foundation is a great example of how we can work together with our communities to make a real difference. 

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