When the coronavirus forced many organizations to put activities on hold, VFW Post 9808 in Mechanicsville, Virginia, began looking for ways to remain a positive presence in their community. It didn’t take long to find the chance to serve.
“We received an offer to work with a regional healthcare company, Anthem, to provide meals to local hospitals for their staff. We provided 500 meals to 10 hospitals around the metro Richmond area,” said Post Commander Cole Winkler.
The meals were made during the week of May 6-12. Each day, 100 meals were put together, then picked up and delivered at dinner time by the Anthem coordinators.
“It was truly an honor to provide meals for the nurses, doctors and staff of the nearby hospitals. The meals were prepared in our Post kitchen every day by our volunteers,” said Post 9808 Club Manager Cassie Williams.
The Post also heard from the Red Cross and found out the organization was having a difficult time finding places to hold blood drives due to concerns about COVID-19. They knew their large bingo hall would be the perfect spot.
“In true military fashion, we jumped at the chance to provide a safe space for blood collections,” said Winkler.
“Comrade Ray Otto, our bingo manager, said ‘How could we say no to the Red Cross when they had already been turned down? Where will they receive donations? Our hospitals need blood and Post 9808 will do what we can!’ So far, we’ve hosted 11 blood drives in our hall.”
Nearly 350 units of blood have been donated through this effort, which has helped local healthcare facilities. The Post has more blood drives scheduled through the end of 2020 and they plan to keep taking on opportunities to assist their community during the pandemic.