Community volunteers, VFW members partner in fundraiser for needy veterans

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - The current state of America’s inflationary economy creates challenges for many individuals and families, especially those getting by on fixed incomes. Meeting the needs of local veterans is one of the key purposes of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3473.

On Saturday, July 22, community volunteers partnered with VFW members to organize a successful fundraiser to assist veterans with necessary expenses.

Last November, a local family had an unexpected and immediate need to dispose of a large quantity of new, high-quality items and wanted to “do something good with it”. The community volunteer team members were Karen and Graig Munsell, Duane and Bird Taddei and Nadine Kelley.

The volunteers moved and stored the family’s contribution until a sale day could be scheduled. With the assistance of VFW member Bruce Taddei, the VFW Post on Hillside Drive was secured for the event.

Duane Taddei sold 400 of his popular tacos during the event to raise an additional $385. The winner of the 50/50 raffle pocketed $63. By the end of the day the effort raised $1,690.

Karen Munsell served as the event coordinator and said it was a joy to participate with her friends and partner with the VFW members to “do something good” with the donated items.

“Many local Veterans live in their homes and have limited incomes,” Munsell said. “When a minor home repair, such as replacing a kitchen faucet or installing a water heater, or a small private emergency suddenly happens, often a veteran’s limited cash flow is not enough to cover the expense.”

Nadine Kelley was the money taker. She said the planned 9 am to 3 pm sale was extended as shoppers eagerly purchased brand new clothes with tags still on them for $1 each.

“It was a fun day for us,” Kelley said. “I got to know the other community volunteers better and it was great to see so many people benefit from our efforts.”

Munsell added, “Our sale team requested a donation be made to the family of Noreen E. High to cover the expenses of her upcoming memorial service. She touched each of our lives individually and we thank VFW Post 3473 for honoring our request.”

The post will use the remainder of the funds raised to assist local veterans with unexpected

expenses that exceed their ability to pay for. The family trust’s blessing was extended by passing on the unsold items to the Family Relief Nursery and Lincoln Middle School’s Christmas Store.

Event organizers are thankful to VFW members Kenn and Patti Hunt and to the many shoppers who showed up and helped make this good deed possible.