Two of those volunteers are 13-year volunteer, Becky, and 3.5-year volunteer, Angie.
When she became president of American Legion Auxiliary unit 497, Becky wanted the members to spend more time serving homeless veterans. After a Google search, she discovered HVAF.
Several years ago, Becky found out her fellow member – Angie – loves to organize. She knew she would make a great pantry volunteer as well!
“It’s been a wonderful experience for me,” Angie said. “I love it.”
The two Auxiliary members come in twice per week – on our pantry days – and stock the shelves, escort the veterans around while they shop, make hygiene bags, and whatever else is needed.
“There’s usually always something to do!” Becky said.
They also make sure their unit continues to stay involved. Since the ladies are at the pantry every week, they know what items are needed and their unit is there to fill the gap. They said their members are always eager to help. Recently, the group made 70 “blessing bags” filled with food and hygiene items. Outreach Coordinator Rodney Jackson passed them out to homeless veterans living on the streets of Indianapolis.
Both ladies say veterans mean so much to them. For Angie – her late husband served in the military for many years, retiring as Master Sergeant. He encouraged her to join different veteran organizations – where she learned to appreciate the service and sacrifice of those who served.
“It’s my pleasure to know and serve the veterans,” Angie said. “They are such a special group of people.”
For Becky – seeing the lack of celebration when Vietnam War soldiers returned in the 1970’s made her sad. Since then, always takes time to thank veterans. She said what’s ironic is that when she thanks a veteran at the pantry – they thank her! She appreciates the mutual respect.
“It’s just an honor to be able to come here,” Becky said. “We know we make a difference in their lives.”