They were a star for our country as they served, and this holiday is yet another chance to step up and thank them.
The Adopt-A-Veteran program is going on now, with gift requests from residents at the Iowa Veterans Home on stars located at several downtown businesses. Shoppers can fulfill these requests then bring the gifts back to the store where they got the star by Dec. 1. The program is annual event put on by the Marshalltown Central Business District.
A total of 51 veterans have submitted two gift requests each, and they tend to be a wide range of items.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Stars with gift requests are now available on trees at several downtown Marshalltown businesses as part of the annual Adopt-A-Veteran program. Pictured is a tree from Hellberg’s Jewelers.
"It's usually things like snack items, pop, reading material, movies or clothes," said Randy Kessler, the new coordinator of the program. "I know it means a lot to them."
Kessler is taking over the successful program from Gayle Hellberg, who led it for the past 10 years. He is a veteran himself and volunteers at IVH regularly. He said many of these gift recipients have no family around, which makes these gifts even more special for them.
"They really appreciate it," Kessler said.
The stars are available at In Stitches, Sportsplus, Brown's Shoe Fit, Hellberg's Jewelers, The Perfect Setting, Farmers Savings Bank, Willard's and McGregors Furniture.
There are also donation canisters at these stores and others throughout town, where donated money will be used to purchase gifts for veterans and booklets that can be used to purchase items at the IVH canteen. To donate funds to the program, send checks to Adopt-A-Veteran, P.O. Box 473, Marshalltown, IA 50158.
The public is invited to the party where the gifts will be handed out to the veterans at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Malloy Leisure Resource Center at IVH. The Marshalltown High School chorus is expected to sing Christmas songs at the event, which is a great event to spread holiday cheer.