On the very night that the governing body voted to end using the Roselle Park First Aid Squad (RPFAS) as the borough’s first emergency responder, RPFAS member Kevin Murphy was recognized by Mayor Carl Hokanson for his work and advocacy for homeless veterans.
“I’ve known Kevin for a good many years,” said Mayor Hokanson in his presentation of Mr. Murphy’s Certificate of Recognition, “[He] is one of the leading experts or people that are dedicated to helping the veterans in Union County.”
Kevin Murphy, himself a veteran of the United States military who enlisted during the Vietnam War, spoke to those in attendance, “Mayor Carl has been a tremendous help to the organizations that I deal with every year since 2013. We do a collection at the First Aid Squad on a Saturday, twice a year, and people drop off brand new items for our homeless vets and we make survival packs . . . and then we [distribute] them. Last year alone within the Union County area and just a little further north of here 2,500 backpacks were delivered to homeless vets. The number is approximately – in the state of New Jersey – 10,000 homeless vets. That’s taking the whole state. Obviously, we can’t cover everybody.”
Mr. Murphy spoke about the annual golf outing in July that raised almost $10,000 to help homeless veterans.
“I want to thank everybody,” said Mr. Murphy, “We will be doing a winter collection right after September 1st and if anybody wants to make donations or whatever, please let me know because it is going to a good cause. You can check us out at OperationChillout.org on the internet and learn all about what we do. Thank you.”
As of this publishing, it is not known if the semi-annual backpack collection will continue to be held at the First Aid Squad house since Union County has taken over the emergency response service for Roselle Park.
Anyone needing more information on donating or assisting Kevin Murphy with supporting veterans who have experience financial hardship can call him at (908) 956-2863.