Lewandowski and her husband in Haiti. The nonprofit hosts a Christmas party each year as well as a New Year’s Eve party for an orphanage in Haiti.

Helping others is the life mission of Elisabeth Lewandowski, an Army reservist, mother and wife of a soldier. She started Veteran’s Hands in Action, a faith-based nonprofit, to share the “gifts” she has received with others.

“Being a Christian is such a gift,” said Lewandowski, “And it feels good for us to be able to bring gifts that God has given us to other people.”

A combination of life experiences sparked Lewandowski to start the nonprofit.

Years ago, Lewandowski met a woman who was speaking at a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society event she attended while at college. The speaker was from Sri Lanka and she told the students that if each of them gave just $1, it would feed all the kids in her school back home for a full year.

Lewandowski also recalled a volunteer Army chaplain, who also happened to be an Army ranger, who used his off-time to bring pizza to Lewandowski and her fellow trainees who were not allowed to leave their post during military exercises. She was impressed that he took his own time and money to show them they mattered.

“Giving is one of my favorite things. It makes me feel good,” said Lewandowski.

Lewandowski met her husband in the service and together they have continued to support veterans around the world. There are about 150 wounded warriors living in the barracks just outside the VA Hospital in Phoenix while recuperating or awaiting treatment. The Lewandowskis deliver snacks, books and magazines to these men and women.

Throughout the year, Veteran’s Hands in Action stays diligent in raising money to help out those who made sacrifices in the name of our country. Lewandowski hopes to find a spot for a thrift store or perhaps obtain a truck which would make hauling items much easier.

One of her favorite annual events is the Veteran’s Hands in Action Christmas party, which is thrown with the help of donated decorations, Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift bags for those who have nowhere to be for the holidays. 

Lewandowski’s sister runs an orphanage in Haiti which is home to 100 children. Whenever possible, Lewandowski goes to Haiti to bring dresses and high-heeled shoes to the girls for their New Year’s celebration.

“It is the first time they have worn high heels and a fancy dress,” says Lewandowski, “It is a really big deal for them.”

Lewandowski majored in International Studies in college and brings that knowledge to the children, teaching them about different cultures. They always have Hispanic night, where they make piñatas and artwork.

Lewandowski is fulfilling her dream of a nonprofit, a veteran always at the ready to help others. Along with donations, Lewandowski is currently looking for a grant writer to help her organization reach even more people. For more: email Elisabeth at elewandowski@ymail.com.