Just more than an hour into the drive, club president Charlene Greer said the drive, held at the IBEW Local 1701 Hall, had already seen a fairly good turnout with many individuals purchasing items at Ollie’s to drop off just across the parking lot.
While used clothing donated cannot be taken to the VA Clinic, club member Susan Guilfoil said volunteers are usually able to take the clothes to local homeless shelters or donate them in other ways.
Greer said the club holds about four drives each year in partnership with the Veterans Affairs Clinic, which then distributes the goods to veterans in need.
“Anything we get, they can use,” she said. “Usually, we can help as less as 20 and up to 130, so it just really depends on the number of homeless individuals who come in, as well as many of the ones that have homes and have transportation, but they’re very limited.”
This year is the club’s fifth year holding clothing and food drives for veterans experiencing homelessness. The club typically holds drives about four times a year to ensure veterans have clothing needs fulfilled for each upcoming season.
Greer said while the club was collecting just about anything donated, it was particularly seeking out food, coats, scarves, gloves, socks and coats to help keep veterans warm and clothed in the upcoming winter season.
“We make sure everything goes through them because they know all of the people and what their situations are. That way we can make sure everything gets to whoever needs it.”
Greer said the club was also helping hand out children’s books to families who may have a parent or other loved one deployed for military service.
She said the club will likely hold another drive prior to spring around February or March.