Residents of the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown will again benefit from the efforts of a Reinbeck woman, her family and friends, and this year, you can be a part of this caring gesture.
Personal items, reading material, movies and select clothing is needed. More than 600 Iowa veterans live at the Marshalltown home.
Becky McClenathan, rural Toledo, heard about Kandie Vaughn's effort - "Shower of Gifts" - on a TV newscast. She didn't hesitate to act and called Vaughn.
Army specialist Travis R. Vaughn
Veterans Home drive in his honor
As a result of their conversation, donation boxes are now in place at the VFW Club in Tama and Pamida Store in Toledo.
Vaughn told The News-Herald on Monday how she welcomed the assistance of McClenathan and said veteran recipients need and appreciate all things they receive.
Collections will go on until Feb. 18.
That date holds special importance to Vaughn. Her son, Army specialist Travis R. Vaughn, died that day in 2007 in the crash of a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan. He was a member of 160th special operations at that time. Eight soldiers lost their lives in the crash and 14 survived.
Vaughn said the collection drive for the veterans is "my way of helping and healing."
She said after her son's death she joined the Reinbeck American Legion Auxiliary and they toured the Veterans Home.
"I didn't even know it existed until then," she said.
But she was inspired to help with her "Shower of Gifts" now in its fourth year. Last year some $13,000 in items were donated. She hopes to double the collection this year. Collections points are also located in Grundy and Black Hawk counties.
A free chili luncheon is being served on Feb. 18 at the Federal Pub in Hudson in appreciation of donors, Vaughn said.
The collection will be delivered to the Veterans Home on Feb. 20.