Tue. May 28th, 2024

Photo Credits: Evan Brooks

Dedication to service is a core value shared by many of the West Chester University organizations, and Helping American Heroes is no exception. The organization is dedicated to promoting values such as; a sense of duty, a firm resolve towards honor and the idea of sacrifice. Each value is carried out through the organization’s service to all first responders, both active-duty and veteran military members, and even teachers. Helping American Heroes is a great opportunity for anyone who is looking to give back, especially if the communities impacted by their service is one you are particularly passionate about giving back to. 


Founded on the basis that a community of students could come together and make a difference, Helping American Heroes has believed in the obligation of giving back to your community and those within it. Through education and raising awareness for issues of importance, the group has tried to make the world a better place for all members of society, every moment they could. The communities this organization specializes in are the following: both active-duty members and veterans of the military, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), police officers, firefighters and educators or teachers. Helping American Heroes dedicates time to aid the specifically mentioned groups, because they embody the values of honor, sacrifice and duty that is perpetuated throughout the organization. 


The organization is unique in the specialization of the groups they serve. Helping American Heroes serves the groups that serve the public every day, echoing and spreading service as an organization. From recognizing the heroes of the pandemic, like nurses, the organization hopes to highlight the good each individual has contributed to society. Some of the groups the organization highlights, may be underpaid, under recognized or under appreciated. This organization seeks to build a level of advocacy for each group, and especially give back through recognition and fundraisers that positively impact each group they interact with. 


This organization is all about service: from hosting fundraisers to obtaining donations for causes related for public servant related foundations, to reaching out and showing what appreciation they can. Helping American Heroes has done donation drop-boxes before for local groups in need, as well as host general fundraisers for the West Chester University community to participate in. Overall, the organization wishes to continue to serve their community and those in need, through more fundraisers and activities that aid individual heroes and their associated foundations. 


In terms of experience, the following executive board members of Helping American Heroes have elaborated on their time within the organization. Through these quotes, a better idea of what the organization is about, and how it can impact you if you join, can be gained. 

Manny Jones, the Vice President of the organization who has been within it for one year, stated, “Leyla, our president, introduced me to the organization and it has been a blast. We really do try to make a difference.” Ending with, “we are a family. We welcome all who are willing to serve.” If you are looking to help serve your community or those that have served, then joining Helping American Heroes may be best for you. 

Leyla Oya, the President who has been with the group for over one year, stated, “I wanted to become the president of this organization because I have always had a high sense of respect for those that devote their lives to helping others.” Touching on family background, they stated, “my father was in the Marine Corps, my brother is active in the Army, my grandfather is in the Navy, and my mom’s father was in the Air Force.” Thus, if you have a family background related to any branch of the military or first responders, this organization may be a community you wish to join. Oya continued by stating, “we are a diverse group that will be inclusive to all who want to join.” And if you have digital marketing skills or an interest within the subject, Helping American Heroes is currently looking for a willing individual to run the organization’s social media. 

Morgan Crossin, the current Secretary of the group that has been with the organization for about two months, stated, “I was motivated by fellow members to help support a group in our nation that could always use any help they can get, and an opportunity to meet and work with those veterans.” Should you have a passion for serving others and want to meet those that have served their country and communities, then the organization is more than open for you to join. 


Helping American Heroes has a few events planned for this spring, starting with the continuation of their donation drop box program. This time, the program is looking to aid a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) office. Another event the organization is looking to do, is a fundraiser, towards the end of the year, for teachers in school districts designated as impoverished. There should also be booths set up for the Marine Corps and the Army sometime this spring semester as well. Another project the organization hopes to accomplish, is a collaboration with a campus organization dedicated to Art, where a large canvas will be created, signed by students and dedicated to local heroes. Lastly, the organization is also planning on doing supply events and donation drives for military personnel. 

For more information regarding Helping American Heroes, connect with the organization via Ramconnect, or any of the social media listed below. 

Academic Makeup (Of Those Featured): 

  • Majors – Political Science, History, 
  • Minors – Political Science, 

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/helpingamericanheroeswcu/?igshid=1qjjgj1c0qy0s or @helpingamericanheroeswcu Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/helpingamericanheroeswcu/ or @helpingamericanheroeswcu or Helping American Heroes WCU Ramconnect Page- https://ramconnect.wcupa.edu/feeds?type=club&type_id=19957&tab=home Website- https://ramconnect.wcupa.edu/hah/home/ 

Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil and Professional Leadership EB916132@wcupa.edu.

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