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Community Youth bring smiles to Houston VA Veterans

Youth pass out thank you cards to Veterans
Veteran Harvey Bingham (right in collage) holds up a handmade, thank you card he received from local youth. (Left photos) Youth members from the Light Up Network display handmade, thank you cards to created for Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

Last month, youth members of the Light Up Network created handmade, thank you cards for Veterans at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

“We realized that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have been restricting visits from friends and families,” said one young high school student. “We were especially concerned about elderly Veterans at VA’s Community Living Center.”

Composed of local high school students with a passion for the arts varying from playing instruments, singing, writing, and more, the Light Up Network attempts to share the joy that art brings, foster intergenerational connections, and prevent elderly isolation. 

“We thought these cards could safely extended positivity and smiles to the Veterans. We also brought some uplifting drawings to brighten their day,” said another student. “Our Veterans deserve our thanks for their service to our country.”

“VA is authorized to accept donations or gifts for the benefit of patients. All donated items should be new and not pre-owned or used. Some of the current items needed at the Houston VA include throw blankets; sweatpants and sweatshirts; coffee and cookies; games; grocery and large retail store gift cards for $20 each; note cards with postage stamps on them; sewing kits; telephone cards; t-shirts, socks, and underwear; and Metro bus passes and gas gift cards to assist Veterans with transportation to VA appointments.

Cash donations are used by the Houston VA to pay for urgently needed items and services that directly support Veterans, like rehabilitation equipment, social service assistance, supplies and tickets for recreational programs and activities, temporary lodging for families of Veterans recovering in a health care facility, and transportation services.

“We truly value community partners like Light Up Network and appreciate their support and generosity,” said Barbra Bell, Volunteer Services chief. “There are many ways to show your support to Veterans, whether you yourself are a Veteran, the family of a Veteran, or simply a thankful citizen looking to help someone who has given up much of their life to protect our country. Please just call us at 713-794-7135 to find out more.”

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