Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local 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
Local News
  • NAPPANEE BOARD OF WORKS: Refurbished home brings less than cost NAPPANEE — A house that was refurbished through a grant program has been sold by city officials.On Monday, Scott Hughes of Hughes and Associates, brought an offer to Nappanee Board of Works members for the house at 151 Van Buren St. The city purchase

    July 30, 2014

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 Spore mug Child's death prompts carbon monoxide awareness SYRACUSE — In the wake of the carbon monoxide poisoning death of 12-year-old Skyler Spore, the Syracuse community is raising awareness about the dangers of the deadly gas.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS GN140730 stormwater board Orchard annexation gets $500,000 boost Stormwater board increases contribution toward $7.5 million project

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 city council summit 01 Street chief says more money needed to avoid cutting services GOSHEN — The last year has been a particularly rough one for the Goshen Street Department, and the budget for 2015 is likely going to reflect much of that pain in the form of a significant increase in funding requests.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Jace Michael Mast TOPEKA — Jace Michael Mast, infant son of Earl and Esther (Lambright) Mast of Topeka, was stillborn at 9:40 p.m. Monday at Dupont Hospital, Fort Wayne. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Evan Wade Mast, at home; grandparents, Ri

    July 29, 2014

  • nipsco property Construction to close N. Fifth St. for most of a year

    GOSHEN — Motorists who use North Fifth Street should plan to find a new route for the coming year. Monday the Goshen Board of Works and Safety members accepted bids for a North Fifth Street reconstruction project from Clinton Street to Crescent Stree

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These are the final days of the HSEC's July special: adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 29, 2014 11 Photos

  • SLIDESHOW: The week in photos

    July 29, 2014

  • School board All Chandler students to get free lunches

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

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.
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue