Fundraiser will help over 30 homeless Wichita veterans as they move to permanent housing
(Photo provided)

Fundraiser will help over 30 homeless Wichita veterans as they move to permanent housing

Homeless veterans in Kansas received some essential assistance in their move to permanent homes thanks to the Sons of The American Legion at Wichita’s Thomas Hopkins Post 4.

A Valentine dinner and auction fundraiser at the post raised $9,400 to help homeless veterans in the local VA Homeless Program, Squadron 4 Adjutant Robert Emmart said.

This was the sixth year for the fundraiser. “Every year this event has been more successful than the previous ones,” Emmart said. “The proceeds come from live and silent auctions, raffle, and some cash donations.”

On March 12, Post 4 members delivered five truckloads of household items, including microwaves, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, dinnerware, silverware, bedding, brooms and mops, bath towels and more, to Robert Dole VA Medical Center’s homeless program. Two days later, squadron members delivered two more truckloads.

“Each year after our annual event, we check with the VA Homeless Program supervisor to identify what items on the list are of urgent need at that time and what items they have plenty of.  In the last few years, VA had a donor source for about half of the items on the list, so we would focus on the items that they desperately needed,” Emmart said. “However, this year, when checking with VA Homeless Program, we found they had just exhausted all their supply of household items and also that the donor source which provided about half of the needed items previously, is no longer available to provide that support.

“So the timing was good this year, we had our most successful year for our annual event at the same time as the need for household items for homeless veterans is greater than ever before.”

The fundraiser’s success enabled Squadron 4 to purchase and deliver 31 of each of the over 20 necessary household items, Emmart said. VA Homeless Program team members said the items were “essential for homeless veterans to be successful in their permanent homes,” Emmart said. “Thirty-one homeless veterans will have the complete ‘move-in kit’ to help them be successful in their new homes.