Yorktown-based Veterans Advocacy Group Honored Nationally
My Brother Vinny, a not-for-profit veterans advocacy group based in Yorktown, was recently recognized at the fifth annual Academy of United States Veterans awards ceremony in Washington D.C.
Paula Miritello, who founded the organization in 2013 in memory of her brother, Vincent, who had Cerebral Palsy and died in 2000 at the age of 20, was given a Vetty for My Brother Vinny’s work with homeless veterans.
Miritello and her group were also honored at last week’s Yorktown Town Board meeting, where proclamations were given by the Town of Yorktown, New York State Senator Peter Harckham, New York State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi.
“This has been such a humbling experience. We love the Town of Yorktown. My brother Vinny, who the organization is named after, was born in Yorktown. Yorktown has been so good to us,” Miritello said. “It is our town and everyone has helped us so much.”
Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater praised Miritello and her organization saying, “When I think about the values of our community, I believe you and your organization are the epitome of that. I have seen the impact Paula has had on the lives of veterans and I was so excited to hear that her work received this well-deserved honor. She is literally saving lives, and this is something so special for our community to be a part of.”
To date My Brother Vinny has assisted more than 975 veterans. The organization supports veterans across the Hudson Valley and in the five boroughs of New York City.
Following Vincent’s death, Miritello stated on the organization’s website that she had a strong desire to spend time and support individuals with intellectual disabilities and those that lived with mental health issues.
“Vincent truly was an Angel and losing him left a deep void in my life, in our lives,” she stated. “He was filled with so much love, pure of heart and taught me the true meaning of compassion and love. He never spoke to me in this life with words, but spoke to my heart where words were not needed. He was special to so many and still spoken of fondly by his wonderful teachers that loved him at Pinesbridge School in Yorktown. To this day, when you visit the school you will see a garden dedicated to his memory. This beautiful soul was my brother and he spread joy wherever he went!”
“Throughout, the process of helping others and honoring Vincent and his memory. I knew that I wanted to give him a Legacy,” she stated. “In 2011, I was in a car accident that left me unable to walk for over four month confined to a wheelchair with years of physical therapy to recover. It was due to my accident that I was finally able to put all the years of charity work in motion and form My Brother Vinny. My brother lived his entire life in a wheelchair, I felt even closer to him and got a deeper understanding during the time I unable to walk myself. I clearly saw even deeper the strength those that live with special needs, physical limitations overcome daily. The dependence on those that love them and the public support needed to go through daily living. The deep love that I had in my heart to help others; slowly day by day turned into My Brother Vinny the 501c3.”
“I have never felt so much joy as I do now helping others and keeping Vinny’s memory alive,” she added.
My Brother Vinny’s annual walk fundraiser will take place on April 26 at FDR Park in Yorktown.
Rick has more than 40 years’ experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, running the gamut from politics and crime to sports and human interest. He has been an editor at Examiner Media since 2012. Read more from Rick’s editor-author bio here. Read Rick’s work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/pezzullo_rick-writer/