COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — While their time on active duty is behind them, the members of VFW Post 5066 in Collierville still have a mission.
“The way I look at it is, the benefits that I have were fought for by the generations before me,” said Post Commander Robert Hunt. “So me and my generation have a duty and responsibility to fight for the generations to come.”
But their fight is to provide for local at-risk families.
“Having served in the military, being on active duty, you're not paid a lot,” Hunt said. “You're stretching your dollars and everything. So we understand the situation. And now we're in a position where we can help and do for others.”
In the past, the VFW post has donated toys to organizations like the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. But for the 2022 donation, they wanted to help someone closer to home.
“With the current situation, inflation and everything, a lot of peoples’ priorities are paying rent and then getting food for their families,” Hunt said. “That doesn't leave much left.”
Partnering with Collierville Schools, Post 5066 has “adopted” four local families (18 total people) in need of help and has launched a campaign to gather donations for each family.
Each family has submitted a list of needs.
“Shoes, socks, coats, pants, shirts,” Hunt said, listing examples.
As well as wants.
“From video games to air pods to a new doll,” Hunt said.
And while the VFW will focus on meeting the needs first, members know the wants are important too.
“We don't want them to hold back when they ask for something,” Hunt said. “Everybody has a dream of having something.”
He says the goal is to raise between $3,600 and $5,000 worth of goods for these perfect strangers.
“(Members of) the school (district) are the only people that know the families,” Hunt explained. “But it doesn't matter. We're here to help people and that's what we're going to do.”
Hunt says the Collierville community has sprung to action to assist the VFW post, donating money or shopping for items.
The deadline to submit donations is December 10th.