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Goodwill Helps Homeless Veterans Get Ready for Winter

Goodwill hosted the fifth annual "Stand Down for Goodwill" event - which helps provide needy veterans with basic supplies they may need for Winter.
PEORIA - Each year - those who served our country in the armed forces find themselves on the streets.

And with Winter coming up, many don't have the basic supplies needed to survive the temperatures.

On Saturday, Goodwill took action to make sure they do.

Thomas Douglas filled his duffel bag....with treasure.

"Oh, I had a chance to get a couple of shirts, pants, toiletries," he said.

These items are commonly bought and used by most.

But that's not the case for Douglas, an Army veteran.

"In this point of time, I'm currently unemployed," Douglas said. "Some of the things I receive here, I'm not able to go out and purchase."

That's where Goodwill stepped in. This was their fifth Stand Down event - which supplies homeless or needy veterans with those supplies often taken for granted.

Veteran Service Manager Johanna Wagner said, "They come in and provide them with winter clothing and items that they need to get through the Winter months."

These veterans don't consider this a store. To them, it's a treasure chest.

"It benefits me as well as other veterans that are down here today that are in the same situation," Douglas said. "I am financially unable."

"We go to get a pair of socks, and we have eight or ten pairs of socks, where a lot of our veterans live from season to season at times on the street," Wagner added. "To say 'Thank you' to our veterans, what they've done for us, our country, and for my freedom, That's why I'm here."

"They demonstrate to me what we've done for. I have to let them know I appreciate what they also do for me," Douglas said.

Which makes it fitting that Thomas and the rest of the veterans also receive an American flag.

After all, they are the ones who fought for it.

"How about it?" he said. "Fly one for the old red, white, and blue."

Nearly 150 veterans took part in Stand Down.


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