SIDNEY — Across the community this week, families sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, spent time with family and friends and took time to give thanks and share with each other what matters most. Also rememered were the men and women of the United States military, who serve everyday.
The local Red Cross is inviting the public to participate in a project to support those who are serving and those who have served, by donating cans of coffee to the “Java for G.I.s” program. These donated cans, which, in turn, will be given to area veterans’ facilities.
The coffee is being collected now through the end of December and will be delivered to the Dayton Veterans Administration Hospitals (which is where veterans go for treatment, Wright Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center, as well as VA subsidiaries in Springfield, Piqua, Sidney and Greenville.
The public can drop off coffee at any of these locations from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:
• NMVO Troy office: 1314 Barnhart Road, Troy
• NMVO Springfield office: 1830 N. Limestone, Springfield
• NMVO Greenville office: 130 Martz St., Greenville
• Sidney Daily News: 1451 N. Vandemark Road, Sidney
“A cup of coffee, might not be what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving,” said Lynne Gump, executive director, American Red Cross, “But there will be many veterans that will be thankful that they were in your thoughts, remembered their service and treated them to a cup of Java.”
The Red Cross is tasked by its Congressional Charter to provide services to members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. The Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) Department offers Resiliency Training, Preparedness Training, Emergency Communications Services and support to military hospitals and veterans’ facilities.
“Java for G.I.s is a companion piece to the more substantive SAF services we provide,” said Andy Guidugli, Regional Services to the Armed Forces director. “It’s a way for us to make personal connections with our veterans and show our appreciation over a simple cup of coffee — a small, yet meaningful gesture. As a veteran myself, I understand the importance of knowing that our service to our country hasn’t been forgotten.”
In the spring, the Red Cross will host hospitality sessions at the VA facilities where volunteers can spend time with our veterans sharing fellowship over a cup of coffee.
“This is my favorite aspect of this program,” said Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Regional CEO Stephanie Byrd. “Red Cross volunteers, many of them who are veterans themselves, will gather with vets for coffee and conversation. We’ll also invite high school students, giving them an opportunity to participate in a meaningful public service experience.”
Cans and bags of ground coffee, as well as individual serving coffee and k-cups are accepted.