Veterans helping veterans is not just a saying; it is actually what we do. Recently, Post 45 of Canton, the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program, Auxiliary Unit 45 and Woodstock Post 316 put together a two-U Haul caravan of needed supplies to take to Jenkins, Ky., and deliver them to Post 66 as part of a humanitarian relief effort for the recent flood victims of that area.
According to Jim Lindenmayer, Post 45 service officer and director of the Cherokee County program that is part of Post 45, commander Raymond Rollins put forward the idea of finding some way to help not only the veterans of the devastating eastern Kentucky floods, but local citizens as well.
The idea was further cemented with the passing of the hat at the 9th District quarterly meeting, where just over $260 was raised to help pay for trucks and gas to get the materials to Kentucky. Not knowing just where and how we were to help, Lindenmayer reached out to the Department of Kentucky in Louisville to see if there were any points of contact or local posts in eastern Kentucky we should connect with.
The answer came to contact Post 66 and their commander Teddy Blake to see what we could provide them in the way of relief supplies. The answer was pretty much, “What can you provide us, and we especially need cleaning supplies.”
On Thursday of last week, members of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans program and Unit 45 went about securing a 26-ft. and 20-ft. U Haul truck from a local dealer and started filling these vehicles with cases of items such as paper towels, rags, food, clothing, personal hygiene, Kleenex tissues, homeless backpacks, small appliances and disposable hand wipes. The 20-ft. truck was loaded back in Canton and comprised many products donated to our homeless-veteran thrift store as well as 40 backpacks for homeless veterans that were put together by Kimberly-Clark employees during a volunteer day event.
After a 6-hour truck drive our team of Post 316 Commander Julian Windham, Post 45 Finance Officer John Bruss and Navy veteran Ray Ross, the truck and supplies landed in Jenkins and Post 66 where the needed supplies were unloaded and placed in the Jenkins post.
Since the product delivery, Teddy and his post have been reaching out to many local groups and organizations to get the needed items to the neediest. Job well done.