This year, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) will be spreading holiday cheer by handing out gift baskets to veterans in need in the local community. Though it has been a crazy year, the members of the VVA prove unstoppable in their mission to help others.
The gift baskets will be personally crafted and delivered one-by-one to the chosen veterans and their families. Baskets this year will include fresh products, canned goods, and gift certificates for a holiday meal.
“We want them to have a good meal and a nice holiday season without having to spend the money,” said chapter President Dewayne Coppler.
In the twelve years they’ve been active, the VVA of Seven Lakes has donated an astonishing $115,000 to local veterans and veterans’ families. The one hundred twenty three members volunteer time and money every year, additionally backed by community support, to make helping these veterans possible.
Opportunities for fundraising this year were few and far between. With crowd limitations due to COVID-19, the VVA did not have the chance to open events to the public. Instead, the VVA has relied predominantly on personal donations for holiday gift baskets this year.
This, unfortunately, included their annual Pancake Fundraiser, which typically raises over one thousand dollars to be donated to charitable causes. The Pancake Fundraiser has been rescheduled to April 21st, 2021.
The VVA works with Wounded Warrior as well as community outreach programs to find veterans in need in the local area. They work closely with local pastors, church organizations, and trusted community members to find those genuinely in need of help. Most aid goes to veterans with children, those with medical disabilities, and those still waiting for service compensation.
Meetings for the VVA are held on the first Monday of every month at 7:00PM in the Seven Lakes West Community Center. The VVA welcomes all veterans who served between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
President Dewayne Coppler’s thoughts are with all service members this holiday season. “We wish they were all home with us,” said Coppler, “but we know they’re out there protecting us, keeping peace in the world.”
Those looking to contribute to a good cause this holiday season can donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 966. Donations are accepted and deeply appreciated year round.
To donate, please contact VVA Chapter 966 President Daniel Conrad at (910) 986-5829 or email him at VisionsByConrad@gmail.com.