Dear Friend of The Baltimore Station,
I am Joey. I am a Navy veteran of fourteen years with eight overseas deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom. I am originally from New Jersey, but have called South Baltimore home for the last fifteen years. I am the proprietor of Pizza di Joey in Cross Street Market and I have been a volunteer at The Baltimore Station since 2014, serving on the Board of Directors for the last six years.
“It doesn’t matter how much or how little I can provide. What is important is that I try and do my best to leave no man behind.”
-Joey “Vanoni” Salek-Nejad
I became familiar with The Station when my M&T bank manager and I were discussing my business goals at its inception back in 2014. When I told him I was a veteran and intended on hiring other veterans, he asked, “Well, have you heard of The Baltimore Station?” I had not. He then told me he was on the Board of Directors and would take me over to check it out. I was immediately taken aback when I saw where it was. I had passed by this building hundreds of times and never gave it a second glance. I was unaware that inside so much work was being done. Men were being clothed, fed, and their souls cared for. I was also shocked that most of these men were veterans like myself. I asked myself, “How did we fail them? How did we let them get to this point in life?” To be clear, when I say “we,” I mean the military and veteran community. That is when I decided to continue to uphold our military’s ethos of “LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND”, even here at home in the U.S.
Throughout the years, I have been comforted with and grateful for the successes of The Baltimore Station.
Each year, we care for more than 300 men at two facilities right here in Baltimore, ensuring they have shelter, food, medical care, mental and emotional support, and are building and strengthening their own capacities to provide themselves the same when they leave the program. I often tell others when I am explaining the work of The Baltimore Station that we aren’t just “giving” these men “things,” we are helping them develop the tools they need to become independent, healthy, and successfully transition back into the community and their families. We are literally helping them turn their lives around.
However, none of this could be possible without you. Your volunteer work, service, and financial support are absolutely critical in continuing this mission, especially as we come out of the pandemic and deal with increased expenses.
“SERVING THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED,” is the motto of my business. I committed to serving my fellow veterans following my time in the Navy because I realized many needed help. It doesn’t matter how much or how little I can provide. What is important is that I try and do my best to leave no man behind. Throughout my journey, I have employed veterans in The Baltimore Station’s program, donated food, volunteered my time, and provided financial support. Anything helps these men, these veterans, our fathers, brothers, and sons find their way back
Thank you for your service and continued support. We greatly appreciate it!
Joey “Vanoni” Salek-Nejad
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