A successful second round of donations for the Adopt-A-Vet program this weekend put Compassionate Houston’s goal of 300 welcome home baskets in 100 days within reach. Compassionate Houston is a coalition of faith-based organizations and private citizens. Their goal is to provide a place to stay, social services and job assistance for chronically homeless veterans in the Houston area.
Linda Andrus, project director for Compassionate Houston, organized the basket initiative when told that veterans were receiving much appreciated housing, but lacked the basic household supplies to make it a home. Though told it might take a year to collect the necessities for 300 veterans, “We just knew we could do it in 100 days,” Andrus stated. “All things are possible with God.” The welcome home baskets include hygiene, kitchen, cleaning, bedroom and bathroom items. The value of a complete basket is approximately $250.00.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), along with other organizations and individual contributors have been major contributors to the project. Local Mormon Church members and missionaries provided valuable service by collecting items, presorting them into baskets, transporting and unloading at the collections center. Missionaries from the Houston Texas South Mission also donated time to sort donations at the collection center.
Amy Hogan, Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Mormon Church in the Houston area has been instrumental in committing over 80 baskets from her local congregations. Of them Andrus said,”Amy has been with us from the start and has helped so much. I am so very impressed with (your) community. The young people are so disciplined. They follow their principles and have great manners that you don’t see today. They are wonderful young people.”
“I can’t think of anything that is more important and rewarding than helping those who have given so much in service of our country and sometimes fall on hard times and don’t have resources,” said David J. Bertoch, President of the Church’s Houston North Stake. “This activity is worthy of any service-minded organization, whether it be churches or civic organizations. We were very pleased to have been approached and given the opportunity to participate in this effort and we were pleased by the response of our members.”