“We, as the VA are trained to see the need that is out there and offer our services to our Veterans. It makes me smile that the Thanksgiving boxes went to those that are TRULY in need of a good meal” - JoAnne Shryock, Financial Administrative Specialist
This was the 5th annual, community and system-wide effort considering the needs of the Veterans we serve, especially those who may be facing food insecurities during the holidays. With the growing number of Veterans benefiting from the Food Pantry Program and Food on the Move, we knew there would be even more Veterans in need of assistance this year.
Thanks to our AMAZING & ENGAGED employees and community partners, we surpassed 300 Veteran referrals!
Those involved in this large project include over 33 Marion VA departments, 19 Veteran Service Organizations, community members, local schools and colleges, private companies, and faith based organizations. With the help of all of these partners, we were able to meet the needs of our Veteran populations.
The estimated value of food, gift cards and cash donations reached upwards to $37,976.96, surpassing expectations, meeting all needs and then some, and more than doubling the donations taken in the last year.
A Veteran experiencing difficult times, whom had recently lost their daughter and wife shares that this gesture has “ restored [his] hope in humanity.”
Marion VA employee, Joanne Shryock says that she volunteers “Because it is the least that I can do for those that have served our Country. The thought of ANY Veteran not having the opportunity to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal hurts my heart. No one, especially those that have fought for our rights, should be without a Thanksgiving meal, or ANY meal for that matter.”
Another Veteran drove to the Marion VA to pick up his donation, and shortly after the items were placed in his car, CDCE Chief, Maria Buehler, told him that there was a gift card included.
With a stunning glare in his eyes, he responded, “Bless the VA, bless everyone here.”
This was such an amazing effort and outpouring of care and love for the heroes we serve! Big thank you to CDCE staff and volunteers who worked non-stop, to all the employees and work groups and community partners who participated in the effort as well as all those who assisted with assembling and delivery.
If you have any questions or require further assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to the CDCE Office. You can contact us by emailing VHAMRNCDCE@VA.GOV or calling 618-993-4121.