Helping Every Vet In Need (HEVIN)

Connect Community with Veterans in Need

HEVIN has a PASSION for Helping Veterans In Need!

HEVIN (Helping Every Veteran in Need) is a non-profit organization committed to assisting local veterans that have needs in Cowlitz County.  We take time to get to know the veteran and to figure out the best method of assisting while taking steps to wisely use our resources.  HEVIN works with Veterans for a variety of needs, from small to large, including connecting them with other community resources.  Our Board members, many of whom are veterans, come together to review applications, discuss options, and get back to the veteran in a speedy manner. We try to help veterans as fast as possible, yet still making sure to verify their veteran status. We ask veterans we help to pay it forward by attending a HEVIN event or volunteering with HEVIN in some other way. Paying it forward helps to cultivate a veteran community so no one stands alone.

Our story

2018

501 c3 Status Granted

HEVIN received 501c3 status from the IRS.

We started to help veterans in need.

We held our first VetsGiving dinner.

2019

HEVIN’S Mission Came To Life

Our founding board members joined forces to spread the word about HEVIN’S mission, “CONNECTING COMMUNITY WITH VETERANS IN NEED” 

We were awarded 100 Women Who Care money.

We started to have monthly lunch meetings with local veterans.

We were able to help even more veterans with community gaining awareness. 

2020

COVID Obstacles To Overcome

Covid-19 rendered us unable to meet for our lunches or in person fundraisers. 

We continued to help veterans in need. 

We had a “Drive by VetsGiving dinner” and it was a huge success. 

2021

Expanded The HEVIN Team

In April we received a Grant from Department of Veteran Affairs which enabled us to hire part time staff.

100% of donations are funneled back to Veterans in Cowlitz County because of this grant.

We had our 1st Annual car show- “Hot Rods for HEVIN” 

In October we hired 2 employees.

We were awarded the 100 Women Who Care money. 

We had our 3rd Annual VetsGiving Dinner in person and drive by. 

We have continued to help veterans in need. 

Our Team

Rich & Rhonda

Rich and Rhonda Black are the Founders of HEVIN. 

They were both born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and have a combined family of 4 daughters and 6 grandsons. 

Rich and Rhonda own and operate an Electrical Contracting Company in Castle Rock, WA and Rhonda works at Cowlitz County PUD.

Rich is a Untied States Air Force Veteran who served from 1989-1992 and was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, WA. He was an electronic warfare system specialist on B-52 Bombers. He was stationed in England during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. 

Rich and Rhonda volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Rich sits on their board of directors as well. Rhonda is a member of the Longview Rotary Club and sits on their board of directors. 

Rich and Rhonda both have a heart for their community and work hard at their job so they can give more to the community. In their spare time they enjoy traveling and spending time with their family.

Rich and Rhonda made HEVIN a reality after Rich had a vivid dream about it and couldn’t rest until the dream was fulfilled. He had the dream after a veteran friend in need of financial help was reluctant to ask for help from friends. The dream was to connect community with veterans, for needs that can’t be met by other resources in the community.  With a lot of hard work, they were able to make the dream a reality.  Since 2018, The HEVIN board of directors, along with many generous community members have been able to help countless veterans.

Rachel J. Cox

HEVIN Employee | Executive Assistant

Rachel has spent the majority of her professional life working in the medical field as a CMA.  She will utilize her medical experience to assist our local community of veterans by understanding their physical and emotional needs.  Her value to working alongside our community is to increase the quality of life for many veterans and their families.

Rachel has many family and friends who are veterans and feels very passionate to fulfill a role of service with HEVIN, as both an employee and volunteer. She is honored to be able to give back to veterans in honor of all they sacrificed for us. 

Rachel has two beautiful teenaged children, a dog named Marlo, and a supportive husband of almost 18 years.  Rachel loves to hike and camp with her family and is a fantastic cook and baker.

She looks forward to furthering her service and passion, working directly with veterans through her new role at HEVIN.

Kalei C. LaFave

HEVIN Employee | Community Outreach Coordinator

Kalei has worked many years in the non-profit sector and finds her best accomplishments in serving others in our community.  Her experience allows her relationships with individuals and businesses to bridge their services to many veterans and their families.

Kalei has two children that live in Hawaii and two dogs named Tiller and Umi’. She loves to hula dance and carries on her Hawaiian culture to her children. She serves on many boards, organizations, and community projects.  Her extensive work in the nonprofit sector will allow her to join local forces of services, veterans’ needs, love, respect, and care for them that they so valiantly deserve and have earned.  Her father, brother, and many other family members are veterans.

Kalei will bring in donations and services to local veterans and their families. Helping to bridge the gap between community and veterans in need is her goal!

Noma Hudson

Treasurer

Noma Hudson was born in Cowlitz County and grew up in S. Kelso, attending Wallace, Coweeman, and Kelso High. She was active in sports and the Kelso Presbyterian Youth Group. She went to College in Spokane at Whitworth on volleyball/basketball/ academic scholarships. After graduation she moved back to the area and began working as a substitute teacher for a year in Longview/Kelso schools. She was hired in 1984 to teach English and history at Mark Morris, where she also coached volleyball and basketball. She was also an instructor at City University in the Masters of Education program in the early 2000’s. In 2006, She left teaching to become an administrator. She was the assistant principal at R. A. Long for two years, then principal at CVG for five years, principal at Cascade for two years, and principal at Kessler for five years. She retired in 2021, after 37 years in the Longview School District. Her retirement plans are to enjoy traveling with her partner of 30 plus years, Tod Rossire, reading, hiking, and volunteering for HEVIN, and anywhere she is needed.

Noma’s passion to serve with HEVIN stems from the several family members who have served in the military:

Her father: Les Hudson, US Navy WWII 4 years (worked the med ships out of Pearl Harbor) Brother: Mike Hudson, Army National Guard.

1973-1990 Partner: Hugh “Tod” Rossire, Navy, 2 tours of Vietnam on the USS Biddle 

Cousin; Terry A Gray, killed in action in 1969 (aged 19)

Uncle: Ken Kimble II, Marines, Korean War 

Nephew: Brian Hale, served in Afghanistan—4 years 

Nephew: Daniel Derr, US Coast Guard-4 years

Noma feels she is rewarded by serving with HEVIN because she will be helping people in the local community who are in need, giving to people who gave so much to our country,  and helping to honor her family members listed above.

Mary Howe

Treasurer | Board Member

Mary was born and raised in Cowlitz County. 

Mary graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and Finance. While enrolled at WSU, Mary was the College of Business Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year and served as student ambassador and president of the finance club. 

Mary has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2008, specializing in tax preparation and non-profit financial statement auditing.

 Mary is a proud member of Rotary. Although not a veteran, being the treasurer of HEVIN is one way Mary feels grateful to give back to her country. 

Mary has a wonderful husband Nick and daughter Ellen. Mary is excited to announce she will soon be a grandmother as well! Mary has just recently opened her own CPA company, Lower Columbia CPA’s and Company, PLLC.  In her spare time, you can find her on her sailboat or on the mountain skiing. She also enjoys camping and just being outdoors. 

Cathy Halverson

Board Member

Cathy has lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her life. Cathy is a Veteran of the US Army, and served during the Vietnam Era, from 1973-1976. She was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany and worked in Postal Operations.

Cathy comes from a strong family line of Veterans, including many female Veterans, all of whom set a beautiful example of Americanism for Cathy at a young age. These women include her Aunt Lois, who served in the Army during WWII, and her mother Beverly, who served in the Army during the Korean War.

Cathy is a member of the American Legion Post #25, the American Legion Auxiliary Post #25, and belongs to the American Legion Riders. Cathy is very passionate about helping all people in her community but holds a special place in her heart for veterans. 

She is married to a wonderful man who is also a veteran and serves other veterans in the community. She also has an amazing son. She is a Wellness Consultant for doTERRA Essential Oils and enjoys helping people find a natural solution for their health and wellness. Cathy’s husband is Dan Halverson and is the Veteran who inspired Rich Black to create HEVIN. Cathy feels honored to be part of HEVIN and its mission and is excited to make a difference in the lives of our local veterans. 

Brenda Bellerud

Board Member

1985-1993 Army Military Police Protective Service Officer. 

Brenda was born in Denver, CO and grew up in SW Washington   

 After graduation, Brenda immediately enrolled into the United States Army. She was stationed at Ft. McClellan, Alabama, Ft. Stewart, Georgia and Patch Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. 

After being honorably discharged from the Army, she then joined the Oregon National Guard, honorably discharged after approximately 4 years. 

She then spent many years working for a Portland Emergency & Critical Care Hospital, where she could live out her passion for beloved 4-legged friends. She worked as both as a Medical Technician and Medical Head Technician. She also continued working with people by getting her Emergency Medical Technician Certification. On her latest endeavor, she spent 20 years working for an industrial leader, providing advanced solutions for on wafer test and measurement. She was fortunate to travel worldwide, troubleshooting customer issues.  She became Training Manager, training customers how to use technical products. Over the 20 years, she also held positions as an Applications Engineer, Quality Technician, ThinFilm Technician and lastly, Supervisor for a Production Line. 

Brenda moved to Cowlitz County a couple years ago along with her spouse, 2 dogs and 1 cat. She enjoys helping the community, gardening, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golfing and remodeling homes

Gordon Meyer

Community Liaison | Board Member

Airforce 1970-1974 Vietnam and Eglin AFB, Florida

Gordon, his brother and father have all served our country in the military. 

Gordon was born in Vancouver, WA and graduated from Clatskanie High School. After high school the military draft was in process, so rather than getting drafted, Gordon enlisted in the Air Force in 1970. He was sent to San Antonia, TX for basic training then to Fort Worth for medical training. After finishing school, his first assignment was Phang Rang, Vietnam. The base at Phang Rang housed fighter and bomber air craft which made it a target. As a medic, he also supported the Army Dust Off helicopters that would bring injured to his base. It was here that Gordon realized that heroin and alcohol were in great supply to the military personnel on the base and had been the cause of deadly fights between military personnel.

Gordon’s second assignment was at Eglin AFB, Florida where he worked as a medic in an ICU/CCU at the base hospital. Fort Walton Beach was the closest town to the base and was on the ocean. With its white sand and blue Ocean, it was an amazing place to go after Vietnam. 

After being discharged from the service Gordon lived in his van for 6 months in Longview. He eventually found employment as an EMT with Emergency Medical Ambulance Service and ST Johns Hospital. He then found employment at Fibre Co. and retired with them 32 years later. 

After retirement Gordon wanted to find something interesting to do and went to work for Longview Work Release program part time for the next 3 years. During his time off, he volunteered with the Longview VFW, interviewing veterans to determine eligibility for help from Cowlitz County’s Veteran Relief Fund.  He then began volunteering with the Veterans Integration Program. This program provides transitional housing and case management for homeless veterans. This is one of the many grants managed by the Longview Housing Authority. He was then hired for the position of Outreach/Navigator by VIP where he had the opportunity to meet and create relationships with the homeless and many providers that work with the homeless in 4 counties in SW Washington.  He then also added to his title at VIP, Case Manager, meeting with veterans weekly to help them set goals on increasing their income through a variety of sources and connecting them with VA medical, mental health help, drug and alcohol counselling, legal help, education and employment, debt management and helping them with social interaction and stability. 

Gordon retired from VIP in June of 2021 and has since became a volunteer and board member with HEVIN. Although he is a volunteer with HEVIN, he has been given the title of Community Liaison, for the extremely important work he is doing by continuing to help homeless veterans and veterans in need through his work with HEVIN and his many connections in the community. He currently serves on the Cowlitz County Advisory Board and is a lifetime member of VFW Post #1045. 

Raul Rios

Vice President | Board Member

Raul Rios was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA and spent his summers in Santa Rosa, CA. 

After graduating from Cajon High School, he enlisted in the United States Army at age seventeen. Basic training occurred at Fort Dix, NJ after which he attended the U.S. Army’s Intelligence School and was trained as an Electronic Warfare/Signals Intelligence Interceptor/Analyst. Raul served with the 1st Infantry Division also known as the Big Red One deploying to Operation Desert Shield/Storm and later with the Army’s Intelligence Security Command (INSCOM) in Sinope, Turkey. 

Raul continued to serve under INSCOM at discreet locations throughout the world until his separation where he transitioned to the Department of Defense (DoD) working throughout the world for Advent Systems, Inc., BAE Systems, Inc., and Booz Allen Hamilton. 

During Operation Iraqi Freedom 2008-2009, Raul had the honor of serving his country once again as a Liaison Officer in Baghdad, Iraq working as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Collection Manager for Multi-National Forces Iraq/Multi-National Corps Iraq (MNF-I/MNFC-I). In 2010 Raul resigned from the DoD to attend school pursuing a degree in Homeland Security Emergency Management in Puyallup, WA.  

Today, Raul is a Peer Specialist within the Department of Veteran Affairs’ homeless program. In this capacity, he works to support, inspire, and advocate for the Veteran’s needs within the VA. Raul whole heartedly believes in the VA’s Mission as defined by our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,”. 

Raul lives in Cowlitz County with his wife, daughter, two dogs and three cats. His goal is to serve the Veteran’s in his community ensuring they understand their benefits have been earned and this great Nation owes everything for their service great and small. 

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