Navy veteran Perry W. Norris received his pin from uniformed, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Lee Alexander at Life’s Treasures Thrift Store in Brandon. (Photo courtesy of Chapters Health System.)

Life’s Treasures Thrift Store held a special pinning ceremony in commemoration of Independence Day weekend on July 3 as part of the Chapters Health Valor program to honor veterans and first responders. Chapters Health Foundation funds and operates the program. At the Brandon location, 12 veterans and first responders were recognized. Each veteran and first responder received a pin, a certificate as well as a stitched star.

Adam Stanfield, the vice president of development and executive director of Chapters Health Foundation, explained how the pinning ceremonies came into fruition.

“The Valor pinnings were a fundamental part of prior programming to which the Foundation is seeking to expand throughout its service community,” Stanfield said.

“This will be a natural effort as the stores run through the commitments of more than 400 volunteers, with many being veterans,” he added.

Chapters Health System honors first responders and military veterans with a high quality of life until their last breath. It also provides hospice care, grief services and home care to the veterans and their families. The design of this program aims to meet the special needs unique to first responders and military veterans, which includes honor pinning, American flag presentation and much more.

Florida is the third-largest military veteran population in the nation, consisting of dedicated and highly skilled first responders. Chapters Health Foundation supports the work of Chapters Health System and serves Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk along with other counties too.

In Hillsborough County, Chapters Health Foundation supports LifePath Hospice. Life’s Treasures Thrift Store Manager Cheryl Ann Haley at the Brandon location stated that, as a local storefront, it makes daily contact with veterans, first responders and active military. This would be how her business got involved with the pinning ceremony.

“Overall, being able to talk with the people who received their pins and seeing their appreciation felt inspiring as well as humbling all at the same time,” Haley said.

The Life’s Treasures Thrift Stores are directly affiliated with Chapters Health System. Any proceeds from the store funds services for the patients’ families.

For more information, visit Those interested in volunteer opportunities at either Life’s Treasures or with the Valor program can contact Anne Ferrell at or call 461-5279.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.