Tidings of Comfort & Joy

Cape Cod Life  /  November/December 2021 / ,

Writer: Julie Craven Wagner

A Copely Master artist and local businesses join together to alleviate homelessness among veterans on the Cape.

The underlying and unifying image during the holidays often includes home and hearth. But for those who lack the security and stability of a home, the reality of the holidays presents a very different picture. Local artist Marieluise Hutchinson, a benevolent patron of those with a cause, has dedicated the proceeds of her annual holiday card to the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center and, more specifically, the new veterans home the organization recently constructed in Dennis. ”My father was a veteran, as well as my sister and brother,” Hutchinson explains. “In our family, the notion of service to your country was taken very seriously, and it breaks my heart to think of veterans without a place to call home.”

Art provided by Marieluise Hutchinson. Photos provided by the Veterans Outreach Center.

This year’s card, the 39th design is entitled “The Warmth of Home,” and like all the other cards that have benefited over 30 different nonprofits over the years, 100% percent of the sales of the annual card will go directly to the Cape-based veterans support organization.

The Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center provides housing assistance to veterans and their families in many forms: subsidized vouchers, financial assistance and in the case of the newest home in Dennis, a safe and comfortable solution for five individuals in need of a home. Their good work does not end there, however. Joe Taylor, the Center’s executive director, says the needs are diverse and the demand is growing. “Homelessness among veterans has reached a chronic state, but the challenges don’t begin or by any means, end there,” Taylor states. “Food insecurity, counseling and support, employment, and financial assistance; these are all things we see a need for and do everything we can to connect the solution with the problem.” To that end, the Center has implemented a food pantry that was at capacity before the recent pandemic, but needed to find ways to grow and expand to meet the needs of a larger population as individuals and families struggled with joblessness, homelessness and a decreasing availability of many critical services. Commitment and involvement from the community is at the core of the organization’s ability to meet the ever-growing needs of the veteran community across the Cape and Islands. The new home in Dennis was made possible by dozens of local businesses and individuals who provided in-kind, financial and intangible support to ultimately build a home that officially opened its doors and welcomed residents in 2021. The home was built by Eastham-based Cape Associates as the General Contractor coordinating all of the in-kind services, including their own. Scores of other businesses like KAM Appliance, Ideal Flooring, Mid-Cape Home Center, Barbo’s Furniture, and Edgewater Plumbing and Heating provided the essentials to make a house a home.

Hutchinson’s original oil painting from which the card was printed, features a humble New England farmhouse scene, blanketed in fresh snow, with a house, proudly displaying the American Flag, and glowing with the anticipation of home during the holidays; the family cat sits perched on a barrel in the barn, patiently awaiting an unsuspecting mouse gathering spoils for the cold winter ahead. The Christmas tree is trimmed and lit, as glimpsed through the windows into a life of family, love and gratitude. As the sun sets in the late afternoon on this imaginary yet familiar scene, it becomes a harbinger of the darkness so many without a place to call home this holiday season, as well as the throughout the year, may face without the good work provided by the dedicated individuals at the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center.

To learn more about the Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center and how you may be able to help, visit capeveterans.com. To support the organization and purchase a box of Marieluise Hutchinson’s 2021 card, visit capecodlife.com/shop. Marieluise is represented by Tree’s Place in Orleans.

Supporting Businesses of Veterans Outreach Center:

Asset Management Resources • Attorney Brian Wall • Attorney Jay Murphy • Barbo’s Furniture • Bass River Builders • Bayberry Quilters • Bayswater Construction • Best Quality • Boise Cascade • Cape and Islands Services • Cape Associates • Cape Cod Engineering • Cape Cod Veterans, Inc. • Cape Light Compact • Championship Tile • Chris Lambton Landscaping • Christina Hadzi Design • Curley Direct Mail • Dirt Works • Edgewater Plumbing and Heating • Falmouth Lumber • Fraser Construction • Hamco Flag Poles • Home Depot-Hyannis • Ideal Flooring • Jayne Pelosi Designs • Joe Ores Carpentry, Inc. • KAM Appliances • Karol B. Wyckoff Studio • Keyes Enterprises, LLC • L & M Drywall, LLC • Marieluise Hutchinson • McPhee Associates • Mid-Cape Home Center • Muldoon Architects • Otis Electric • PKM Contractors, Inc. • Robert B. Our Company • Robert Childs, Inc. • RPM Flooring • Shepley Lumber Sign Design Inc. Brockton • Snow and Jones • Sweetser Engineering • TA La Barge, Inc. • The First Church of Sandwich Outreach Committee • Town of Dennis • Trimboard • Voikos Consulting

Julie Craven Wagner is the editor at Cape Cod LIFE.

Julie Craven Wagner

Julie Craven Wagner began her experience with Cape Cod Life in 2010 when she joined the sales team after 10 years of working with local businesses on the Cape and Islands with WMVY. In addition to sales, she is the Associate Publisher/Editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. Growing up on the Outer Cape has given her a unique perspective of life on Cape Cod, from tip to bridge, and that is reflected in her appreciation and presentation of stories found within the pages of our publications. Julie lives in North Falmouth with her husband, Eric, and their yellow lab, Enzo. When she finds free time, she enjoys her Cape Cod life sailing on Buzzards Bay, spending time on the beach in Wellfleet, or exploring Martha’s Vineyard.