‘Getting Our Vets Ready for Winter’ drive to help homeless veterans

‘Getting Our Vets Ready for Winter’ drive to help homeless veterans
Two off-road vehicle enthusiast groups joined forces this afternoon to collect blankets, coats and other items for Amarillo’s homeless. (Source: KFDA)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, think about donating items to help homeless veterans.

Members of The Baton Rouge Veterans Foundation and the VFW Zachary Taylor Post want to make sure homeless veterans are taken care of before it gets really cold.

That’s why they’re hosting the “Getting Our Vets Ready for Winter” drive on Saturday, December 15 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the VFW Zachary Taylor Post.

The goal is to give local homeless vets warm clothes, hot food, and a flu shot.

This event came together last minute so they are asking the community for help.

They need these items donated:

  • blankets
  • sleeping bags
  • jackets
  • hats
  • gloves
  • thermals
  • underwear
  • socks 
  • shoes
  • basic travel size toiletries (shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • snacks/non-perishable canned soups

It’s hard to even believe a veteran would be in this situation but it happens more often than you think.

In fact, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans numbers show that across the country nearly 60,000 veterans are homeless on a single night.

“As a member of the VFW we try to help all of our veterans who come through," explained Tommy Pitre, the District 8 Commander for the VFW of the Greater Baton Rouge Area. "Whether it’s giving them lodging or gas or meals or whatever we try to help them the best we can and that’s one thing the VFW does. If you’re a veteran and you come in and you have the proper ID, we will try to help you.”

The goal is to host events like these every three to four months.

“We need people to reach out and give us donations that we need. Blankets, gloves, anything to help them out to get them out. So, this Saturday, we’re going to be cooking a pastalaya so we can give them a hot meal so they’ll have something to go on. If they want to take some with them and we have enough, they can take it with them," Pitre added.

The main thing they are asking for is help with transportation on Saturday.

If you are interested in assisting, call Pitre at 225-273-1999 or Katie Leonard at 225-279-6785.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.