Changing season brings need of donations to VA clinic helping local veterans
As the seasons change so does the need of our veterans.
At the Bowling Green VA Clinic officials are making sure our local veterans are taken care of.
Four years ago, the clinic started providing free clothing to veterans with a giveaway one day a year. Today the clinic has grown into a full-blown store that, beginning next week, will be open three days a week all year long.
"The need is more than I thought it would be when I first got here," said Bob Wilson, President of the Kentucky Veterans Brigade. "Now we're getting anywhere from 15-20 people a day."
Those at the store say there are some items they are in immediate need of like thick winter socks for men and women, underwear for men and women, gloves, hats, earmuffs, and hand warmers.
In addition to clothing, the clinic will soon offer transitional housing for veterans with families.
"To see them come in and get what they need and be appreciative of it, as well, is really pretty humbling. But, it's also very satisfying to know that what we are doing here with the transitional housing and with the food, it is impacting people's lives in a positive way," said Wilson.
Officials say those in the transitional housing will have to attend financial classes and actively search for a job.
"Helping somebody pick out a new suit or a new dress for a job interview and having them come back and tell you they got the job, that's very rewarding," said Penny Ritchie, Operations Director at the Bowling Green VA Center. "Those things that, you know, it's not just about the store, it's about the person that's coming into the store and how it's benefiting them."
Officials say providing food, clothing, and housing is a chance to change a life for someone who served to protect a life.
"So, to be able to give them in return just a fraction of what they have already given us is very humbling, it's very heartwarming," said Ritchie.
The Kentucky Veterans Brigade will host a fashion show fundraiser on November 3rd to raise money for supporting the clinic's veterans services.
The fundraiser is at 3 p.m. at La Gala in downtown Bowling Green and costs 5 dollars.