Thursday, 02 February 2023

Vietnam vets launch 'Seniors Not Forgotten' holiday campaign

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VVA members and volunteers prepared the gifts on Dec. 13. Photo courtesy of Dan Davi.
 

 

LAKE COUNTY – This week a group of local veterans will visit local care facilities to share the holiday spirit with seniors and let them know that they're not forgotten.


For the second year Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 951 will deliver gifts to seniors in four local long-term care facilities as part of its “Seniors Not Forgotten” campaign, said chapter member Dan Davi.


Davi, along with fellow chapter member Frank Parker, coordinated the project this year. In about two weeks David and Parker also raised the funds – now estimated at about $2,300 – to provide about 265 seniors countywide with fleece blankets and slipper socks.


“Last year we were concentrated on veterans,” said Davi, with 30 veterans in local nursing homes receiving the gifts.


This year, VVA voted unanimously to take on the challenge of providing gifts for all the county's nursing home residents, said Davi.


On Dec. 13 at St. Mary's Parish Hall, members and volunteers rolled the 40-inch by 50-inch burgundy and blue fleece blankets and tied them with colorful ribbons to deliver next week, the group reported.

 

Jennifer Fox sewed and donated a colorful red 5-foot by 4-foot Santa Claus bag to hold the gifts.


Davi said VVA members will begin making their deliveries on Monday, Dec. 17, in Lakeport at 10 a.m. at Edelweiss Assisted Care Facility and at 2:30 p.m. at Lakeport Skilled Nursing Facility.


On Friday, Dec. 21, they will visit Meadowood Nursing Facility in Clearlake at 10 a.m. and Evergreen Nursing Facility in Lakeport at 1:30 p.m.


“I jumped on it when we had this idea last year,” said Dean Gotham, VVA Chapter 951's president.


He said he thought it was “particularly poignant” for Vietnam vets to reach out to seniors in this way.


Gotham said it's his personal opinion that Vietnam veterans have a particular bond with seniors such as those they're honoring this year.


“Vietnam veterans can relate to being alienated and pushed aside and looked down upon,” he said.


He added that he believes the people in nursing homes suffering from a similar loneliness to that experienced by vets of his generation. “I think people should understand that there is a particular bond there.”


Davi said the community's generosity has been terrific.


“It's amazing all the merchants that have contributed and participated in this program,” said Davi.


Some have even given VVA money towards next year's program.


VVA gave special thanks to the Sea Scouts Of America (USS Whisper 960), including Ed Collins, Sarah Schultz and Trina Lane; Girl Scouts-Juliettes, Mrs. Kosolcharoen and Bundita Kosolcharoen; Boy Scouts Troop 45, and Julius and Donna Nelson; and VVA chapter members Bill Becker, Larry and Suzanne Schneider, Steve Sayer, Genevieve Snow, Ginny Craven, Dean Gotham, Suzi and Frank Parker, and Daniel Davi.

 

The chapter also expressed its gratitude to the following generous Lake County merchants for their monetary contributions, energy and support: Sleep Shop Ltd., American Legion Post 194, Frank and Suzi C. Parker, Lakeview Super Market and Deli, S and K Automotive, Hillside Honda, Ink Spot, Mackey Tires and Spas, Lucerne Pharmacy, Mendo Lake Office Equipment and Stationery, Sun Dental, United Veterans Council, Guy Strohmeier Auto Center, Shoreline Storage, Umpqua Bank, Dock Factory/Steel Starts, Piedmont Lumber, Rotten Robby, Pro-Mart, K-Mart, VVA Christmas Party Donations, Holy Joe’s, Hi-Way Grocery, M.J.’s Place, Gracious Ladies and Country Carpets.


If you would like to make a donation to the chapter for its programs, send checks to the VVA Chapter 951, P.O. Box 1313, Lakeport, CA 95453.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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