Donated vans will help veterans of Liberty House ‘move their lives forward’

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Brand new Dodge Caravans were donated to both Liberty House and to veteran Eric Zarges. Photo/John Angelo

MANCHESTER, NH – Progressive Insurance, with the local sponsorship of Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, has donated Dodge Caravans to both Liberty House and to veteran Eric Zarges.

Liberty House, under the umbrella of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, provides a safe and sober home for homeless veterans on Manchester’s Orange Street. The program can be life-changing.

Representatives of Progressive, Enterprise and Liberty House joined in a short presentation at Liberty House Thursday morning. The donations fell under the Progressive: Keys to Progress mission.

“The program seeks to honor veterans of our Armed Forces by giving them vehicles to move their lives forward,” Scott Harlow said. He is the claims adjustment head of Progressive’s Bedford office. He was joined by Progressive Commercial Manager Robert Horn. Since 2013 the Keys to Progress program has donated 900 vehicles across the United States.

The two vehicles were the first Progressive: Keys to Progress donations in New Hampshire.

Veteran Eric Zarges, left, with Scott Harlow from Progressive Insurance. Photo/John Angelo

Zarges works at the Veterans Administration in Manchester but has been riding a bicycle. He cares for his elderly parents and has had difficulty in visiting his son, who lives an hour away. “It’s important to ease the stress of everyday lives,” Harlow said.

“Liberty House makes 50-75 trips a month,” Executive Director Jeff Nelson said. “This will be hugely important to us.”

Sheri Wheeler, representing Enterprise, thanked Progressive Insurance and noted both the company’s Great American Road Trip theme this year and the founder’s naming the company after the U.S.S. Enterprise, an aircraft carrier he served aboard. 

“Enterprise is proud to both support our communities and to give back to our veterans,” Wheeler said. Enterprise donated six months of insurance on the vehicles.

Zarges was further awarded a $250 Visa gift card, $550 in Amazon gift cards and donated items filling his vehicle.

The proceedings began with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem sung by Liberty House’s Stephanie Murphy.


About this Author

John Angelo

John Angelo’s humor has appeared in “Publisher’s Weekly,” “Writer’s Digest,” and “American Bookseller.” He is a frequent contributor to the “New Hampshire Business Review.” For a Christmas concert at his Catholic grammar school, the nuns told him to mouth the words and that he’d better not make a sound under any circumstances.