Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

December 3, 2012

Christen’s wish is coming true with help from vets

GOSHEN — Tears come to Christen Sullivan’s eyes when she talks about her parents and the reason she started Christen’s Wish in 2011.

The 15-year-old shared her story Wednesday evening with members of the Goshen’s Veteran Honor Guard, along with her mom, Eileen Sullivan of South Bend at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 985.

“I saw my mom crying — and her tears — and my dad saying, ‘What’s going on’ to my mom,” Christen said, “and my mom would tell him what’s going on and I felt I wanted to do something to help and give back to veterans.”

Her dad, Marine John Sullivan, was diagnosed with Persian Gulf War Syndrome in May 2010 and by that time, the family’s house was in foreclosure and Christen “watched us sell rings and furniture, anything to get cash to pay bills,” Eileen Sullivan said, “because John became so sick he couldn’t work anymore. The Veteran’s Administration basically told him to go home and not move.”

“After 17 months, the Veterans Administration registered John as unemployable because of his seizure disorder, and I am his federal fiduciary,” Eileen said.

So Christen, along with her parents, founded the local organization, Christen’s Wish, to help veterans in crisis who need financial assistance along with food, clothing and housing.

Roger Bayak of Goshen had the opportunity to meet Christen and her family during a Veterans Gala recently held at the Century Center in South Bend. Bayak said he was moved by their story and wanted to help the organization and knew just how to help them.

“Nancy Vander Reyden told me she had clothes from her late husband, Wayne Vander Reyden, who was a veteran, and wanted to donate them to help other veterans, if possible,” Bayak said.

So he contacted the Sullivans to come and meet Nancy Wednesday evening, and it so happened she was unable to be there, Bayak said.

But Eileen Sullivan shed tears when she saw the suits wrapped in plastic from the dry cleaners and boxes of shirts, shoes, pants and undergarments.

“These suits are going to other veterans in need and that’s what we do with clothing donated to us,” the mother said. “We’re run strictly by volunteers and 100 percent goes directly to veterans.”

Three other members of Goshen’s Veteran Honor Guard meeting Christen and Eileen were George Buckmaster, Terry Morgan and Jim Matousek, all of Goshen.

Tears, smiles and hugs were shared by the new friends, with being veterans and knowing veterans the common factor.

“I am so pleased at what daughter comes up with and we implement a way to get it (her ideas) done. A lot of people don’t understand what we went through and to have her want to help other veterans, I am just so proud,” she said, with tears in her eyes.

Christen made some goals and reached them as a student at Veritas Academy since starting her organization.

“We raised about $1,000 in two to three weeks to help veterans,” she said. “We had a walk in May and it was a success. The gala was very good and I met Roger and some other wonderful vets. My best friend Katie, and her mom, was there.”

Christen has a goal — to open a resale shop by May 2013 — so veterans can get clothing, food and financial help right there on the spot with their VA card, said Eileen.

For more information on Christen’s Wish, go to the website, www.christenswish.org.

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • GN140719 obit mcdaniel Jeanine M. McDaniel OSCEOLA — Jeanine M. McDaniel, 61, died Thursday afternoon at Elkhart Hospice House. She was born Feb. 16, 1953 in Noble County, to Everett and Nyra Lucille (Reynolds) McDaniel. Surviving are two sisters, Patty (William) Wray, Paducah, Ky. and Bever

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140718 Rosalie Bontrager senior fair queen.jpg Bontrager wins senior queen title

    Rosalie Bontrager was crowned senior fair queen at the grandstand at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Friday morning, July 18, 2014.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Official: Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine

    KIEV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian official said a Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday over a town in the east of the country.

    July 17, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results