Randy Kessler said he hates to see a veteran who does not have anyone or any gifts for the holidays.
For 61 veterans at Iowa Veterans Home this will not be the case as the Adopt-A-Veteran program returns to boost their spirits.
Kessler is leading the effort and stars with gift requests have been placed in several Marshalltown businesses including Willard's Furs and Fashions, Farmers Savings Bank, Hellberg's Jewelers, McGregors Furniture, The Perfect Setting, Sports Plus, Brown's Shoe Fit and In Stitches.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Several Marshalltown businesses are taking part in the Adopt-A-Veteran program as pictured at Willard’s Furs and Fashions. Shoppers can fulfill gift requests by veterans by selecting stars at a group of Marshalltown stores.
Shoppers can pick up a star and return the gift request for the veteran to the store where they picked up the star. Gifts are asked to be returned to the stores by Dec. 1.
Kessler said these gifts often are just as small as a six pack of pop, but they mean the world to the veterans.
"These veterans really don't have family and they don't have anyone to spend the holiday with," Kessler said.
The gifts will be handed over to veterans at a party at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Malloy Leisure Resource Center at IVH. The public is invited to attend and it will feature Christmas carols from choir students at Marshalltown High School.
"They love it," Kessler said of the veterans. "They have a blast at the party."
Those wanting to make check donations to the cause can make it out to Adopt-A-Veteran and send it to Adopt-A-Veteran, P.O Box 473, Marshalltown, IA 50158.
Donation canisters are also available at several area businesses.