Director looks back at success of veterans program as she prepares to step down
DeLisa Russell is stepping down as director of the Veterans One Stop in Waco at the end of the month.
She sat down with News 10 about the mix of feelings she's experiencing after three several successful years building the program.
Russell was saw the One Stop through the grand opening of the much larger new location at 2010 LaSalle in the summer of 2016.
She's proud of all that has been accomplished but said there's a degree of sadness in knowing she won't be there to see the veterans and volunteers each day.
Russell said she gets satisfaction our of building programs and that is evident when looking at how the services have grown.
She thanked Lowe's for building a kitchen to help feed 200 veterans each week.
And she is grateful to those who helped create the Robert Carter Veterans Transition Home.
Chaplain Captain Brenner Campbell donated the land and furnishings and Randy French with Stylecraft Builders built the home.
Guardian for Heroes is the organization created by the family of the late Chris Kyle and she wanted to again thank them for building a gym for veterans to use at the One Stop.
ReBath also provided a shower and laundry facilities there.
Russell is extremely proud of the Thanksgiving meal served each Friday before Thanksgiving that has grown from 500 to 800 since its creation.
And the volunteer base has grown from three to more than 100.
"The Veterans One Stop would not be what it is without our volunteers," Russell said, "what they've done and what they contribute, it's an honor to serve alongside them every day."
For Russell this is a very personal mission.
Her father and husband both served and her son will after graduating from Texas A&M where he is part of the Corps of Cadets.
Looking back Russell said, "to be able to see the changes I've seen from our homeless veteran all the way the generals that have walked in, for them say I've made a difference, it's very touching."
Russell is a clinician and and looking at other opportunities that will allow her to keep building programs that help the veteran community.
A farewell event is happening Friday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. at the Veterans One Stop at 2010 LaSalle in Waco.