American Legion Post 45 and their subgroup, the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program, were making dreams come true. On Wednesday, April 29, the Canton post made life-changing donations to several veterans.
Among them was Navy veteran Darius Roy. "Every day was a hassle, trying to figure out how I was going to get to work, take my daughter to school and just move around," said Roy. Roy recently transitioned out of the military and had been struggling without a car for years. But after being connected with American Legion Post 45 things quickly changed. "When you have somebody like The American Legion who comes and steps in and helps you make that transition once you get out of the service it’s definitely a blessing," he added. But Roy is just one of three veterans to be gifted a car Wednesday. "I’m very blessed and I’m really glad that they're able to offer this type of program to veterans," said veteran Davis Hawkins.
In total, three cars given to Post 45 from members in the community were donated to veterans. The post cleaned and made minor repairs to them, but they didn’t stop there. With the help of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School and a grant from the Home Depot Foundation they also donated a tiny home to Vietnam veteran William Bolton, who was being evicted from his current residence.
"I had a piece of land for years but could never afford to build a home on it, and now I've got a home I will be able to live in," said Bolton.
Post 45 said they have donated 16 vehicles so far since the program started two years ago, and they are also working on another tiny home. The program provides vehicles to disabled veterans who are at least 70 percent SC disabled or formerly homeless veterans who have overcome their situation and are now back on their feet. According to Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program and Post 45 service officer, this program is putting vehicles in the hands of veterans in need versus selling a donated vehicle to an auto auction to create funds for a program that really never donates a vehicle. We have seen that having a vehicle can mean the difference of going from a $7/hour job to a $20/hour job just having reliable transportation.