HELENA — It was all hands on deck as more than thirty volunteers came to pack food into boxes for about a hundred Montana Veterans this week.
The event itself was a team effort involving Helena Food Share, Salvation Army, and Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, and Montana Joining Community Forces.
Many of the volunteers were also veterans themselves or have family members who have served in the military.
“I have a long line of veterans in my family, I served in the military as did my husband, our son, my father, so we know how important this is and it’s the least we can do to try and help them and thank them for their service,” says Gale Kramlick, the President of the Oro Fino Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
It’s that military connection of helping brothers and sisters in service, like Wesley Mann a United States Air Force veteran.
“I was actually living out of my Jeep, my wife was in the hospital and the V.O.A, got us a house at Fort Harrison,” says Mann
Mann adds the pandemic has compounded the stress related to finding work or finding a home.
“The virus has thrown a monkey wrench into everything for everybody. This year has been detrimental to people and there is no way to actually describe the effects that it had on society,” says Mann.
Stories like Mann’s are why Montanans are volunteering their time to help others relieve the stress of hunger.
“Our service members and veterans and their families have sacrificed, so much to give us the freedoms that we are able to enjoy every day, and I feel there is no way to repay that,” said, Brandy Keely, President of Montana Joining Community Forces.
Keely says, “No, a person should ever go hungry and so if we can so if we can make sure that make sure that anyone who is facing that situation has a meal for a day, a week, or a month.”
For more information about Montana Joining Community Forces visit their website.