I’m happy to report that since April 1st, and with the help of many Elks, we have delivered $43,766 in material and financial donations for our local veterans. The Veterans Committee was contacted by a person outside the Elks about a Vietnam Veteran burned out of his apartment. I’m happy to report we were able to locate the individual and contribute, along with the PERA group $400 of Walmart gift cards they can use for food and clothing. A BIG THANK YOU to all 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, December 11th at 1 PM on the patio. Our veterans 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 heavy jackets 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.
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 expanding our veterans committee to provide better coverage for our local veterans needs. The biggest issue Belinda and I face is the amount of time necessary to manage all the different veteran areas we try to service. So I’m asking all Catalina Mountain Elks wishing to volunteer as a Veterans Support Coordinator for one of the following areas to contact me.
Fisher House HUD - VASH
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