Veterans Committee

By Robert Kielsa PER / Belinda Waller

I’m so happy to tell you that since April 1st, and with the help of many Elks, we have delivered $39,900 in material and financial donations for our local veterans. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who have so generously donated clothing, books and toiletries for our veterans! Travelers, don’t forget the small toiletries from your motels/hotels. 


Our next collection is on Wednesday, November 13th at 1 PM on the patio. Our perennial green barrel is in the lounge for any donations you wish to make for either the homeless vets transitioning to some sort of housing who need such things as toilet paper, laundry and dish soap, paper towels, washcloths, trash bags, mops/brooms and floor cleaner; or to our homeless vets still on the streets. They need new t-shirts, socks, underwear and back packs. Bigger items may be placed in the POD in the parking lot. The POD is always unlocked and you are welcome to drop off any contributions in it. 


With Christmas approaching, it is time to think about event item six (6) below and prepare for visiting our veterans at the hospital and presenting them with small gifts. As we’ve done in the past, please buy new t-shirts, socks, underwear, outer wear shirts to be distributed to veterans in the VA hospital. The Christmas party at the hospital this year is on Friday, December 13th. So all gifts need to be new, wrapped and tagged with info on size, description and if for a female or male. We would need all gifts in the lodge by Wednesday, December 11th. 


As I mentioned in the October Bugle, we are going to expand our veterans committee to provide better coverage for our veterans needs. The biggest issue Belinda and I face is the amount of time necessary to manage all the different veteran areas. So I’m asking all interested Catalina Mountain Elks, to contact me if you have interest in volunteering as a Veterans Support Coordinator for one of the following areas we now support. I believe our lodge could address the following veteran area needs better if we could have one coordinator responsible for each area. The time commitment would be controlled by the coordinators and their volunteers, they would only need to plan for their one annual event. 


Homeless Veterans - Position partially filled. 

Blind Veterans 

Fisher House 

HUD - VASH 

Wheelchair Veterans - Position filled. 

Christmas at the VA Hospital 

Christmas at the Arizona Veterans Home - Position filled. 

Veteran meals at the lodge, number of events to be determined. 


Please email me at BobKielsa@gmail.com or call me at 520- 825-0240 for more information. I would like to meet with you and explain the structure and responsibilities of your chosen area. Belinda and I will take you to your contact people within the VA and will help you to get organized. This new structure will allow each team to set their own schedule and amount of time they wish to spend on their area. Even snow birds could work within this structure if they wish. Please give this initiative some consideration, because if there is one thing I have learned, giving to veterans is one of the greatest feelings I have experienced as a Catalina Mountain Elk! 


Co-Chairs, Belinda Waller and Bob Kielsa  

Veterans Gift Worksheet

Gift Worksheets are available for download. 

1 excel worksheet does automatic tally

2 pdf file for printing