To the Editor:
I have just experienced two events that have shored up my sometimes shaky faith in the goodness of people.
The first was the St. Juvin Post 1336 Veterans Day BuddyPoppy event Nov. 9. This year our VFW Post decided to try something different: We partnered with Pack 466. The Scouts and their parents took time from their busy days to help us raise funds for veterans’ and community service projects.
Our sincere thank you to MKM Petroleum, and Rick Marketti, owner of the BP Fast n’ Fresh; Matteson Ace Hardware and manager Keith Roberts, of Coal City; TD Pete’s owner Brian Rogers; Casey’s General Store and manager Terri Rolewicz; and Dollar General Store manager Sandie Hill, of Diamond, for their cooperation.
The second event was the Coal City Library District’s fifth annual celebration of Veterans Day, which has become the community’s premiere event honoring all who served our country in war and peace.
St. Juvin Post 1336 Veterans of Foreign Wars has been a part of this community since March 1925. While we are primarily, and will always be, focused on the welfare of veterans, we are also involved in nonveteran community service.
It seems as though every time you leave your home someone solicits you for contributions for some cause. Unfortunately, most of the time you have no idea where the money actually goes.
St. Juvin Post 1336 is a private membership organization chartered by the United States government and registered as a nonprofit organization with the state of Illinois.
We have no overhead expenses, no Post member receives any compensation and only expenses approved by the membership are ever paid. The Post has 34 members, some who live as far away as Arizona.
There is no requirement for our organization to disclose our financial matters to the general public. However, as Commander, I think it appropriate that we let the community know what we have used your money for during the last year.
You will note that I said “your money,” as all of the funds at our disposal have originated in the community. The only funds received from national or state VFW organizations or membership dues amount to less than $100 per year.
We have a scholarship program that provides $1,000 grants to graduates of Coal City High School for those men and women who are honorably separated from the military and seek college or technical training in any field, and nonservice personnel who enter the health care field and meet the requirements.
We have donated to both the Coal City Clothes Closet and its Backpack Food Program.
We have donated $50 to each veteran’s individual trust account at nursing homes in Dwight, Wilmington and Morris.
This year’s service project to benefit veterans, which is ongoing, is to provide personalized service logo throws that can be used as lap robes or bed throws to every resident who is a veteran at an assisted living or nursing facility in Dwight, Morris and Wilmington.
The membership believes that we are, and have been, good stewards of your generosity over the years.
Veterans never forget what they have done for our country.
Neither will we.
Charles R. BrownCommanderSt. Juvin Post 1336Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States