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The boys present the gathered donations to Bill Nichols State Veteran’s Home. Pictured from left are Monica Davis; King Hoyett; Carter Tindall; Brianna Strickland, head of the Activities Department; Kaden Tindall, Brandon Thompson, and Brantley Robinson. Photo submitted
Local youth stand next to the collected donations, saluting with a veteran who served as a World War II Air Force airplane mechanic. Pictured from left are Air Force veteran Harvey Rackley, King Hoyett, Carter Tindall, Brandon Thompson, Kaden Tindall, and Brantley Robinson. Photo submitted
In addition to delivering donations, the youth take time to talk with Air Force veteran Harvey Rackley, asking him about what his experience in World War II was like, questions about his job as an airplane mechanic and about how he felt after the war. The boys learned a great deal from conversing with Rackley. Photo submitted
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
While many take time to honor and remember veterans during Veterans Day, others also look for ways to give back to those who sacrificed so much for their country.
That is the case for some of Coosa County’s youth, particularly two boys in Rockford. Kaden and Carter Tindall held their fourth annual Veterans Drive this month, which was deemed a success once again.
Every year the Tindalls request a wish list from Bill Nichols State Veteran’s Home in Alexander City with items their residents would like to have, or have more of, as the case may be.
The two then recruit their friends to help and set up at various businesses in Coosa County to ask for donations of items from the wish list, or monetary donations if the donor would prefer not to shop. Kaden and Carter call this donation drive Shop for a Veteran.
The items from the wish list that are donated are used as bingo prizes. Veterans at Bill Nichols play bingo multiples times each week, and a prize is given to the winner of each round.
Therefore, it is important that items are donated year round, or the veteran’s home would likely run out of prizes.
Monetary donations are used when the Bill Nichols’ Activities Department takes the veterans out on field trips and going out to eat.
This year Kaden and Carter, along with their friends, raised $207 in monetary donations and numerous bags and boxes of items from the home’s wish list.
“The drive this year would not have been successful without Rockford Dollar General Manager Katurah Lewis,” Jennifer Tindall, Kaden and Carter’s mother, said. “She went above and beyond helping the boys.”
The youth held the Shop for a Veteran Drive at Rockford Dollar General on November 4. The Tindalls and their friends delivered the donated items and money to Bill Nichols on November 10, just in time for Veterans Day.
Those wishing to donate do not have to wait for the Tindall boys’ drive next fall. Individuals can donate all year long, and donating throughout the year is encouraged to help ensure the veteran’s home has enough items for bingo prizes and funds to help with activities.
The most requested items from residents for the wish list include men’s and women’s body wash (no bar soap), boxes of Kleenex, men’s and women’s deodorant (no cans), all sizes of assorted Velcro tennis shoes, assorted music CDs, zero-alcohol canned beer, snack pudding cups, fruit cups, various flavors of Pringles, diet canned sodas, sugar-free single-pack cookies, sugar-free soft candy (chocolate), mustard, ketchup, lotion, peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, regular soft chocolate candy, and Alabama and Auburn items.
Other items on the resident wish list include toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, handkerchiefs, salad dressings, hot chocolate, K-cups, gloves, and assorted board games and playing cards.
Those interested in donating items for the Bill Nichols State Veteran’s Home can drop them off at the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, and Mrs. Tindall will ensure the items are taken to Bill Nichols, or individuals can drop off donated items directly at Bill Nichols in Alexander City.