TEMPLE, Texas — There's an excitement and a buzz in the air at VFW Post 1820 in Temple just a few days after it opened for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, they hosted their first fundraising barbecue event for veterans and their families.
"Everything we bring in today is going to go to veterans or their families for some need that they may have," Commander Jimmy Douglas said.
Douglas said there is a multitude of things that veterans may need help with. As a non-profit organization, it's their duty to help them whenever they can, Douglas said.
"They may have an electrical bill that they need help done or they may need gas," he said. "Especially now, help with food, with rental assistance."
Help with transportation is also a need for many veterans to help them get to and from wherever they may need to go.
The coronavirus didn't help the VFW continue its mission of helping because, as a non-profit organization, Douglas said they have to send out everything they bring in. He also said it was hard to know how the community would respond because not many people wanted to come out from fear of catching and spreading COVID-19.
"We've instituted a lot of the precautions that Governor Abbott sent down," Douglas said. "Social distancing, the masks, making sure we're using sanitizers."
Douglas said things have gotten better.
"Now that we're starting to come back, it's gotten a little better," he said. "I do suspect that as time gets on, it'll get a lot better."
VFW Post 1820 is an open post that Douglas welcomes anybody to come to see how they can help make a difference in the life of those that served for all of us.
"Warming my heart is only the least of it," he said when asked about the turnout Monday. "It actually makes me overflow, in fact, I had to tell my wife I had allergies because I had the joys coming down my face."
Douglas said they need to have the community's support. He also said that there is more that people can do, especially if they can gift their time to a veteran and their family.
"If you have a skill, we could use that because some of our veterans need assistance with weather-stripping or help at home. If you've got any time, 30 minutes of your time, it's valuable to us," he said.
If you or someone you know can help, contact VFW Post 1820 directly via their Facebook page or stop by their building located at 3302 Airport Road in Temple.