WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Homeless residents were able to come and enjoy a warm meal, and receive winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and more at the JB Wise Pavilion in Watertown on Saturday.
The event was organized by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapter 19-2. The organization collected donations from the community from October 11 until November 24 to prepare for the event.
The PR officer of the chapter, Frank Drohan said he was proud the organization was able to fill a need within the community.
“We have a homeless population here, and somebody’s got to look after them so that’s why we’re here,” Drohan said.
The organization has named the effort Operation Homeless Veteran Warm Front. Drohan added that it was an important time to provide the homeless community with winter clothes as temperatures begin to drop.
“Everybody knows that the winter-time weather here is terrible, so having somebody at least looking out for them, provide some warm coats, sleeping bags, blankets, anything we can get for donations,” Drohan said.
Cheryl Roome is an axillary wife of the CVMA and said it was heartwarming to be able to provide residents with the products they need.
“It touches my heart because there’s a lot of people who need the help and the town needs to do a lot more to help these people,” Roome said.
She said that many don’t think about the hardships people in the homeless community face every day.
“People saying that these people need to get off their butt and work,” Roome said. “They don’t understand there’s mental help that needs to be done for these people.”
Roome said the needs of the homeless community are nothing to be ashamed about.
“This lady’s like I’m embarrassed to come down here to get this stuff. Don’t be embarrassed, they just want this little bit,” Roome said. “This is just hats and towels and material things. There needs to be bigger help for these people out there.”
Drohan said that although this was the first event the organization hosted for the purpose, their efforts are far from over.
“We want this to continue on. So, the idea is we get the word out, even if we only have a few people show, at least the word will go out and the next time we do this which hopefully sometime in the near future we’ll see more individuals show up so we can get this stuff where it needs to be,” Drohan said.