Monday, March 2, 2009

Small Post Pulls Community Together to Provide “Help for Heroes”

This is what it's all about. These fine Southern Folks know what true values are and taking care of our Vets in need is one.

At just 25 feet long by 55 feet wide, VFW Post 5180 in Seale, Ala., doesn’t exactly grab your attention. Though it’s possible you might overlook the Post physically, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the amazing work they do for veterans and their community.

Post 5180 started “Help for Heroes” in December. Its primary mission is to offer necessary home repairs to veterans in the community.

“We created the program [Help for Heroes] to allow both VFW members and nonmembers to work together to pay back our heroes for the blank checks they wrote our nation,” said Post Commander Mike Craig, founder of “Help for Heroes.”

Led by the first crew called Mule Team 1, the workers have volunteered every second weekend of the month since its inception. They have built porches and ramps, repaired roofs and provided other vital home repairs. Supplied only with donations from members, all of their repairs come free of charge.

“We have many highly skilled workers,” said Craig. “So many actually, that we’re running out of work to keep everyone busy!”

“Help for Heroes” has not only made significant improvements in the lives of those they’ve helped but also in the lives of everyone in town.

“There’s no better way to galvanize a community than by working within that community for the betterment of everyone,” explained Craig. “When you’re a part of something, you take pride in it.”

Post 5180 participates in other programs as well. Over the holidays, they sent over 800 individually addressed cards to troops in Iraq. They also visited Ft. Benning Hospital to deliver gifts to each patient and staff member.

The Post has become a positive fixture in Seale. They put to rest many of the old stereotypes once affiliated with them, a primary goal of Craig when he took over as Commander. Now, they can proudly claim title to the No. 1 Post in Alabama for community service programs.

Their service has impacted their membership. The Post now has 132 life members, an increase of over 150 percent from a year ago.

“We’re a small Post doing big things in Alabama,” concluded Craig.

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