The American Legion Riders (ALR) are an organization of mostly military veterans who share a passion for motorcycles and a compassion for helping their fellow citizens. In short, they are individuals who never stopped serving their country after receiving their discharge papers.
Linda Wurns, a Rider from Swanton American Legion Post #479, is one such individual.
For a number of years Linda has been involved in the Taking it to the Streets charity, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless in America. Recently, when the need in the local area became so great, she asked her fellow Swanton Riders for help. They responded in the same manner they always respond, in a very big way. Along with other Swanton Legion members, they began a drive to help clothe and keep warm the local homeless during the upcoming harsh winter months.
“We need socks, shoes, hats, coats, blankets, gloves, mittens and hand warmers,” said drive organizer Deb Miniaci. “We’re also taking McDonalds gift cards because one cup of coffee can help keep a homeless person warm for a long time.”
The response to the drive, which began a few short weeks ago, has been overwhelming. “It just exploded,” said Deb. “We already have a garage full of clothes that you don’t see here,” she continued, looking at the large pile of donations staged at the front of the Legion.
The Sylvania and Whitehouse ALR groups have also joined the cause which will continue to accept donations until December 30. On January 8, all the clothing will be transported to the Toledo area, where the largest congregation of homeless live, and dispersed. Anyone wishing to donate can drop items off at the Swanton American Legion located at 200 S. Hallet Ave in Swanton or call Lisa Wilson at 517-902-7263.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org