Members of Ferris State University’s Student Veterans of America chapter hope to provide necessities and comfort items for residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, as they wrap up a Holiday Wish List donation drive.
Kristin Wilcox, from Canadian Lakes, a Pre-Med student and veteran of the United States Coast Guard, is a spokesperson for the SVA chapter. She said the home is in a period of transition, with a major rebuild of the facility underway. As a result, a specific roster of items has been selected to meet resident needs.
“They call the pickup point for our gifts the ‘free store,’ but we want our supporters to understand the veterans can acquire the donated socks, boxes of tissues, fruit cups, disposable razors and DVDs at no cost,” Wilcox said. “It sounds oversimplified, but the battery-powered toothbrushes and other such items are most welcome, and go a long way toward helping the veterans feel comfortable at the home.”
The entire list is available for review on the Ferris State University Veterans Association Facebook page. The drive began on Friday, Nov. 1 and continues through Friday, Dec. 6. Wilcox said they have wish list posters at their drop-off sites, which include:
- The main office of the Canadian Lakes development in southern Mecosta County
- Ferris’ West Campus Apartments Community Center
- The Veterans Resource Center, in Ferris’ University Center
Wilcox said the rebuild at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans requires a gradual offering of the donated items to the residents.
“They have about half the floor space that had been established for the store, in its prior location,” Wilcox said. “We gathered two truckloads of gifts last year, and hope the students and community can see their way clear to support this worthwhile cause.”
The SVA members plan to collect donations and travel as a group to the home on Sunday, Dec. 8 to deliver these items.
“We plan to make a day of it by bringing in pizzas to take residents bowling and play some cornhole in a community room, on-site,” Wilcox said. “Many of the veterans can feel that they have been ‘stored away’ at the home. This kind of gathering lets our SVA veterans and those living at the home have the opportunity to come together and share an enjoyable experience in preparation for the holiday season.”
Any questions regarding the Holiday Wish List donation drive should be directed to Jacob Schrot, Ferris’ assistant director of Veterans Services, by email or by calling (231) 591-2022.