New opportunity for veterans and military families to enhance their communities. Free training begins on 3/17.

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is offering an exciting new opportunity for veterans and military families. The Community Heroes Project is a training program structured to guide service members and their families in further developing the leadership skills they already have and utilizing those skills to address some of the most pressing issues in our community.

The Community Heroes Project serves as a bridge to help veterans and military families reintegrate into their local community through civic engagement.

“We will work as a group to develop a local service project to improve the community in which we live in, while creating a supportive network for the families,” explained Community Heroes Project AmerCorps member Emily Sassano. Sassano and her fellow AmeriCorps member Brian O’Keefe will be leading the trainings. Brian explained that all aspects of volunteerism will be covered, “selection of projects, volunteer recruitment, budgeting and fundraising to retention of volunteers.”

The first set of free training sessions will be held on Saturdays, March 17, 24, 31, from 9:00am to 12:30pm at Dutchess Community College. Space is limited so everyone is encouraged to sign up now to ensure their space. Go to for more information and to sign up for the training course.

All participants who complete the 10 hour training will earn a Volunteer Leader Certification and will be equipped with the skills they need to organize their own projects in the future. This program will build a pipeline of diverse, talented and skilled individuals who already have a commitment to serve. 

The Community Heroes Project is a component of United Way's MISSION UNITED™ initiative. This project is a branch of the Frontline Families AmeriCorps Program, a national service program run by Points of Light. 

If you are not a veteran, service member or family member but you know someone who is, please help spread the word about this program. For more information, go to or contact Community Heroes Project AmeriCorps Members Brian O'Keefe or or Emily Sassano (845-471-1900 x3129 or