Pennsylvania has the fourth largest population of veterans in the United States. Over a quarter of a million live in Southwestern Pennsylvania and over 100,000 in Allegheny County. Project: SERVE was founded to provide support for veterans – from employment assistance to disability assistance and homelessness prevention. In fact, approximately 33 percent of Pittsburgh’s homeless population are veterans and 2,200 live in poverty. One in 4 veterans in Allegheny County also live with a disability. These numbers will continue to grow as the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan progresses.

On June 24, Ted Kennedy, Jr., along with Highmark Health and United Way of Allegheny County, will raise funds to support Project: SERVE’s programs including 2-1-1 information services, employment support, benefit coordination, and veteran engagement, among many others. Mr. Kennedy, an amputee and lifelong advocate for people living with a disability will speak about veterans’ unique opportunities and challenges upon coming home.

“Supporting our local veterans in their return home to western Pennsylvania is an obligation of the community,” says Deborah Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Health Plan. “We appreciate Ted Kennedy Jr. joining us to raise awareness of veteran’s needs and to help raise funds for the United Way’s Project SERVE, which helps veterans to successfully  transition back to civilian life.

Highmark Health and The United Way will host the private donor reception at the Duquesne Club. The program always welcomes volunteers and donors. Please visit the Project: SERVE website for more information.