BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The American Legion in Baton Rouge, an organization focused on serving U.S. veterans, is operating with a much tighter budget after donations have slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Post 38 in Baton Rouge has helped veterans fight back against homelessness, providing the funding necessary to get them help and into transitional housing.
It typically relies on donations and the money raised through renting out its facility for events, but as the shutdowns continue, those dollars have become fewer and fewer.
“The only thing we have is dues coming in,” said Commander Gerard Ruth. “It’s all going out and nothing’s coming in right now.”
Without the funding, veterans like Daniel Mayers would be still be left struggling with PTSD on the streets of Baton Rouge.
Mayers served as a soldier in Afghanistan. When he returned stateside, he was left with scars, and just not the kinds that can be seen on the body.
“I spent months, we’re talking like three, four hours of sleep, and that went on for quite a while,” Mayers said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I just kind of kept it to myself and then personal relationships started getting really bad and lack of sleep, you start getting irritable and getting really angry. That went on for a couple years.”
Joe Lucio, who serves in the American Legion as a liaison to homeless veterans, found Mayers sitting on the curb. The money afforded to him by the Legion allowed him to get Mayers into a transitional home.
“We funded Danny to go meet his relatives half way to get his kids, because they had nothing,” Lucio said. “They came from New Mexico and then Danny got a job, he went through the training, and he’s raising those children by himself and he’s doing a great job.”
The organization is asking for help to keep the lights on and continue the services it provides.
To donate, Commander Ruth asks you to send checks to or drop money off at the American Legion Nicholson Post 38. Checks should be sent to:
- 151 S Wooddale Blvd.
- Baton Rouge, LA
Those with questions or who are interested in donating in other ways should call 225-922-8826.
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