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Floyd Hastings Wins Patriots MVP Community Award, $10,000 for Vet to Vet
June 6, 2016 (Foxborough, MA) – Floyd Hastings of Saco, a volunteer in Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s RSVP Vet to Vet program, has received a Myra H. Kraft Community MVP Award from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation for his work with Vet to Vet, along with a check for $10,000 for the program.
Floyd, 84, was one of 26 MVP recipients and one of only 10 to receive $10,000 for the program in which he is a volunteer. A record number of 450 volunteers throughout New England were nominated for the awards this year.
Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, made the presentation at a special luncheon at Gillette Stadium honoring the recipients. Patriots’ players Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were on hand to congratulate the award-winners. In total, the Patriots Foundation donated $200,000 to 26 charitable organizations throughout New England in honor of volunteers who “exemplify leadership, dedication, and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism.” The award commemorates Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft’s late wife who dedicated much of her time to volunteering in the community.
“Vet to Vet is one of the best things I have ever been involved in,” Hastings said. “It is rewarding and helps give meaning to my life. The program enables veteran volunteers like myself to enrich the lives of veterans, often severely disabled, in their final days. My visits are the highlight of my week, and I have found this to be true for the veterans I visit.”
Vet to Vet volunteers, who are all veterans themselves, visit aging fellow veterans (or veterans with disabilities) in the veterans’ homes at least twice a month. The volunteers provide companionship to the veterans they visit and often become lifelong friends.
Hastings was first partnered with Ed, a World War II and Korean War veteran who was nearly blind and severely depressed. He was able to connect with Ed on a personal level and helped Ed compose his autobiography, which gave the ailing veteran a purpose in life. After Ed’s death, Hastings has visited two other vets and currently spends several hours each week talking with veterans at the Sam L. Cohen Center in Biddeford.
In accepting the award, Hastings noted that it was “exciting but humbling.” He said that all the Vet to Vet volunteers do what he does. Vet to Vet coordinator Susan Gold applauded Hastings for his exemplary work with Vet to Vet and agreed that all 45 volunteers in the program are helping fellow veterans live a better life.
“We are very grateful to the Kraft family and the New England Patriots for this award and their generous contribution. It is so satisfying to have a volunteer like Floyd recognized in this way for his tremendous dedication and compassion in working with fellow veterans,” Gold said. “His selection as a Myra Kraft Community MVP Award recipient not only spotlights his great work with aging veterans; it also highlights the important contributions of all the Vet to Vet volunteers in their efforts to enrich the lives of these veterans, whose sacrifices are too often forgotten. This prestigious award illustrates how important it is to say thank you to our volunteers and to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for all of us.”
Volunteer Services manager Carol Rancourt said the Patriots Foundation’s generous contribution will help ensure that the Vet to Vet program and its volunteers continue to brighten the lives of aging veterans.
Joe Marro, Hastings’s grandson, expressed his gratitude at being able to accompany his grandfather to the awards ceremony at Gillette stadium. “I was so glad to be there and see Papa receive the award,” Marro said. “After all of those baseball games, school events, and graduations that he attended to support me, it was really nice to be able to be there to support him!”
About the Southern Maine Agency on Aging
Since 1973, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging has provided residents of York and Cumberland counties with resources and assistance to address the issues and concerns of aging. The Agency serves people ages 60 and older, family caregivers, and people under 60 with a disability. Agency services are devoted to fulfilling its mission of improving the social, emotional, physical and economic well-being of older adults in southern Maine.