Community Gems: Carmela Daniels helps caretakers serve veterans in their lives

Carmela Daniels organized a funeral for an unclaimed veteran last year.
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Carmela Daniels organized a funeral for an unclaimed veteran last year.

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DAYTON —Carmela Daniels has worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs as a clinical social worker since 2009 to bring resources to veterans and their families, work that has made an impact on many in the Dayton area.

Daniels is a Dayton native who works to provide resources for care givers of veterans as well as doing community service events through Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. She also has a small business providing mentorship and assistance with licensure for potential and current social workers.

“I’m very humbled to be nominated because that’s not how I see myself and I think I’m just operating in my every day daily form, but it is service,” Daniels said. “I thank God that somebody sees me this way even if many days I don’t.”

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Daniels has helped veterans establish themselves in the community, and helped those who had been forgotten by others. A year ago, Daniels learned of an veteran who had died but had no one stepping forward to arrange funeral services. She coordinated a funeral for him and invited a few friends to celebrate the veteran’s life. It turned into a large gathering.

Daniels works in the Caregiver Support program through the VA. It is designed to assist families that take care of veterans, providing education and training, in-home care, and other avenues of support so that they know how best to care for the veteran.

They provide finance assistance, mental health services, access to vaccines, and medical assistance including covering medical expenses and medications.

“The goal is to take care of the needs of the caregivers so that they can take care of the veterans,” Daniels said.

Daniels was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by her longtime friend and sorority sister Marietta Wade.

“Carmela has a big heart. She is so selfless in everything that she does, and she considers everyone else before she even remotely thinks about herself,” Wade said.

“Everything she does to uplift the community in addition to the work she does with our veterans should be commended and recognized. If it’s delivering food baskets to the less fortunate or planning outreach events for the veterans, Dr. Daniels never refuses an opportunity to serve others.”

If you know a person in your community who has done something great in the community, go to DaytonDailyNews.com/CommunityGems and nominate them.