EDWARDSVILLE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Several local veterans’ support organizations are taking their mission to the streets this winter — doing what they can to help out homeless veterans.
Making major progress in the nation’s homeless veterans problem is a tall task. Local organizations are planning to do their part.
“Well if you have friends, it’s easy,” said volunteer and U.S. Navy veteran Tammy Wenger.
“We’re trying to do a blanket drive with winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves and things like that for the homeless veterans this time of year because they’re very cold,” said Karen Declet with the Warrior Tree Project.
AmVets Post 59 commander Lucius Washington has been running the event for the past four years after a fateful encounter with a homeless veteran.
“I decided, without even talking to the guys at the post, to do a drive for the veterans because we’re all veterans,” he said. “We all stick together and we all look out for each other.”
The drive is set for January but doesn’t happen without these organizations or volunteers like Wenger. The goal is to get the call out so more can answer.
“Word-of-mouth–that’s how you get anything done,” she said. “You guys (Eyewitness News) coming out here today is a blessing. There’s social media and the papers. We’re going to reach out to all of them.”
These organizations and volunteers may be helping year-round, but this drive is crucial for the season.
“In the spring, fall and summer we can do it because we can work a little bit more and have a lot more leeway to get stuff done,” said Washington. “I don’t want to see anybody have hypothermia and lay out in the cold without being warm.”
Whether it’s the holiday season or any time during the year, the mission is clear: help out our homeless vets and any vets, for that matter.
The drive will take place at the Black Diamond American Legion Post, 386 Wyoming Avenue in Kingston, on January 18, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Any of these organizations can be reached online to set up donations or volunteer opportunities, year-round.