Chester Arts Club sponsoring ‘Giving Tree’
CHESTER — Chester Arts Club is now sponsoring the “Giving Tree” for WV Veterans Home Vets. They have placed a Christmas Giving Tree at Crickster’s Family Restaurant with package tags for all of the 72 veterans living at the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville. There are 70 men and two women currently in residence. The Crickster’s Restaurant has agreed to have the Giving Tree housed in their facility for the Month from November 26 through Dec. 16 when the wrapped gifts are to be returned to Crickster’s. The Chester Arts Club meets at Crickster’s every month.
Community members are asked to donate gifts for the veterans by taking a tag from the tree at Crickster’s and purchasing gifts for that veteran. There are suggestions from the Vet as to gifts he or she could really use written on the back of the tag. Each tag has a number that corresponds with the name of the Veteran. The Veteran’s name will be written on the tag by the Recreation Director at the home, Mike Steven. The donors are asked to sign their name in the “from” space on the tag. Gifts will be delivered to the home in Barboursville by Marlene Fleming, Arts Club member, on Dec. 19 or 20, in time for their Christmas party on Dec. 22.
Mike Steven, indicates that more than half of the veterans living at the home have no income and no families. The gifts received from various organizations around the state are much welcomed. The Chester program is different in that each veteran is asked to give suggestions for a “wish list” and each veteran receives a gift that is something he or she really needs or wants, which he receives in a beautifully wrapped package, with his or her name on it, for opening. Mike Steven said, “This gift makes a big difference and makes it seem a lot more like Christmas. The veterans receiving these gifts get a real lift to their spirits knowing people care about them.” Tom McBride, Administrator for the Home, also expressed his sincere thanks to the people of Chester and the Arts Club for keeping this program going. “This caring gesture is really appreciated here.”
The Christmas tree was donated by Joanna Hobbs, Chester Arts Club President, and was decorated by Marlene Fleming and her visiting granddaughter, Abby Cadwallader.
This is the fifth year that the Giving Tree program for the Veterans at Barboursville has been conducted. The Chester VFW Auxiliary members did the program in preceding years, and with their disbanding, the Chester Arts club has stepped up to take on the gift giving program. They will also continue to deliver gifts from other area groups and playing cards from Mountaineer Race Track and Casino.