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U Matter 2 Assisting Veterans in Need

“I’m hungry.”
“I need to see a doctor.”
“I’m alone, and I just want someone to talk to.”

For many men and women returning home from deployment, these are situations that they face on a day-to-day basis. For countless veterans, this perpetual struggle is just the daily routine called life. Sometimes the challenges of life can be quite daunting to overcome by one’s self, and for veterans who need assistance, U Matter 2 is a place to turn to for a helping hand or a friendly voice.

As a veteran having served in the Army for 21 years, drawing from her own personal experiences, Public Relations Officer Ruth Dilts knows firsthand the endeavors that life can throw at you. What started as a simple act of volunteering (if you call making a quilt by hand simple) turned into a passion. Sylvia and Chad King, Founders of U Matter 2, saw the devotion in Dilts and asked her to come on board.

“Volunteering has given me a purpose and raised my self-esteem,” Dilts says.

In 2016, Sylvia and Chad organized a ride to help local veterans who needed assistance. With each passing year, the event grew, and now into its eighth year, the ride is an annual event dedicated to providing help to veterans in need. Sponsors, donors and volunteers make this yearly ride crucial in the accomplishment of their mission, which is simply to help one veteran at a time. “When a veteran calls, we respond,” Dilts says. “No one is ever turned away.”

This year’s ride will take place on August 17.

U Matter 2 is a nonprofit organization based in Plymouth that provides material instead of monetary assistance. They will assist in providing or locating the resources necessary to help one take or get to that next step. The idea is to help the vet get or stay on their feet, thus giving them a purpose and raising self-confidence. “Most vets need a purpose,” says Austin Dilts, one of the U Matter 2 volunteers.

Group of people volunteering
U Matter 2 (photo by Sarah Reynolds)

Some of the types of services provided are usually taken for granted. The simple act of putting on your glasses can be a challenge for someone who needs them but doesn’t have them. Started in 2024, the mission of Operation Sight is to get glasses to a vet in a week.

Another task most people take for granted is to jump in the car and head off to a destination. However, when transportation is lacking, this can be a significant challenge. With the help from U Matter 2, vets have been provided with the resources to gain transportation, and in some cases provided with assistance to repair their own vehicle. Having their own transportation allows them to get to work, the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment.

Simple, daily actions to many are not as simple to one in need. Food on the table, a roof over your head, reliable transportation and a steady job are just some of the challenges that our veterans can face daily. “My father was a vet so I know what veterans need,” says Margret Rzepczynski, a U Matter 2 volunteer.

In addition to the Annual Ride, the All-American Campout is another way for veterans to get together with others just like them. The camaraderie, friendship and togetherness of having served is a bond that they all share.

Food, housing, automobile repairs and employment are just a few of the benefits that U Matter 2 provides to needy vets. Every call is important, and every call is answered. Though staffed for northern Indiana, their reach is quite far. They have helped vets from as far away as Florida and Texas.

Christmas for Veterans, Operation Sight, the Annual Ride and the All-American Campout are just a few of the events that U Matter 2 organizes, in addition to providing essential items for our veterans. With the standing motto of “Helping one veteran at a time,” they truly care and provide.

U Matter 2 can be reached at 574-327-8095 and umatter2022@yahoo.com.

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