As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact and affect lives, businesses and nonprofits, members of the Henry K. Burtner Post 53 American Legion Family answered the call for assistance even as they struggle with the effects of the pandemic on their post. In just a few short days they organized a food drive in conjunction with The Servant Center, a local veterans homeless and transition center located in Greensboro, N.C. The post employed several avenues of advertising including social media, email to members of the Legion Family, communities’ calendars, and reached out to media outlets meanwhile The Servant Center advertised through their social media platforms and on Friday, May 29, 2020, the post hosted the drive at their post home located at 729 Creek Ridge Road, Greensboro. It yielded an estimated 1,000 pounds of food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items, as well as $140 in monetary donations to The Servant Center.
Henry K. Burtner Post 53 is Greensboro’s oldest American Legion post, founded in November 1919. The post, like the Legion itself, is founded on four pillars: Veterans Rehabilitation and Education, Americanism, National Defense, and Children and Youth. The food drive they post conducted falls under the Veterans Rehabilitation and Education pillar, as The Servant Center assists homeless and disabled veterans, to become independent, contributing members of our community through housing, health care and restorative services. This partnership between the post and the Servant Center is a win-win for both organizations as well as engaging the local community. The post plans to host future food drives on a quarterly basis. The post normally collects canned goods and non-perishable food items during their Wednesday night bingo until COVID-19 struck, shuttering the post as stay-at-home orders were imposed. The food drive allowed the post to not only help veterans but to reach out to the community and show them what The American Legion is and does in times of crisis.