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Huntsville VFW post to collect money, coats for homeless vets

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Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 02:12

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A local military group and Sam Houston State University students are collecting money and clothes for homeless veterans next week.

The Huntsville VFW Post 5871 is hosting a charity event from noon Sunday to noon Wednesday when two members of the post will live in a trash dumpster in front of Shenanigan’s and collect the cold cash and warm clothes.

“It’s unique to be doing it this way – taking on the life of a homeless person,” David Lanoue, the post commander, said. “These guys are the same American heroes as the wounded warriors that come home. We need to pull them out of the depths of forgotten society. We need to get them channeled back into being proper citizens again.”

Lt. Cmdr. Robert McCormick, department chair of military science at SHSU, said they have been in talks of helping the VFW. He said it’s important for people to help these veterans because they often have mental health issues.

“All of these people have served our country,” he said. “We need to do our best to take care of them. We need to help because they often feel that they are forgotten. What Lanoue is doing is there to remind them that, ‘Hey. We haven’t forgotten you and we appreciate what you do.’”

Lanoue said most people drive by the homeless and never do anything to help.

“Most people think donating to the homeless that they will mostly use it on alcohol or drugs,” he said. “If someone donates to us they’ll know that it’s being used right away (to help veterans).”

The money raised will be given to the VFW fund for homeless veterans in Austin while the clothes would be sent to the VA hospital in Temple, Texas.

“They have contingencies that will reach out to give the warm clothes to those in need,” Lanoue said. “They will deliver it to those in need throughout the state.”

This is the first year that the post is holding a charity for homeless veterans but has a goal of $100 per hour for the 72 hours they will be at the location. They also want to collect as many coats, gloves, hats and other assorted winter clothing items as they can.

Lanoue also said that student groups and Greek organizations can get a letter of authorization from the group to collect money for the fund as well.

For more information on the charity, contact the post at 936-295-5959, VFW member or by calling Lanoue at 936-355-3933.

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