There, members of the Coatesville Area High School band serenaded with Christmas music a gathering of generous volunteers, including a few elected officials, who were unloading a pair of buses stuffed with more than 1,500 wrapped presents that were donated to veterans.
For the third consecutive year, TMACC collected gifts for both the Coatesville VA Medical Center and the Veterans Multi-Service Center (VMC), a non-profit organization which offers supportive services to veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
The VMC partners with the VA Medical Center to help end homelessness among veterans with a Permanent Housing Program. This year, the VMC projects to house more than 90 homeless veterans.
The majority of the gifts collected during the drive will go to the vets who are getting a fresh start, while other smaller, personal gifts go to the patients at the VA Medical Center.
Last year, TMACC collected approximately 700 gifts. This year, it doubled that number thanks to the help and support of its members and the community.
“Our members and colleagues are very supportive of our endeavors,” said Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC. “Whether it’s a toaster oven, a set of dishes, or even a small lap blanket, the gifts donated help make someone’s life brighter.”
Phelps also acknowledged TMACC staff member Betty Shaw, who started the drive three years ago and continues to grow the event.
“Betty is the driving force behind this gift drive,” he said of Shaw.
Rep. Harry Lewis Jr. was in attendance with Reps. Becky Corbin and Warren Kampf and Representative-Elect Eric Roe to help with the delivery of the gifts.
“Seeing all these gifts really gets you excited,” said Lewis. “Our veterans often get overlooked; it’s great to see such a flourishing program that helps our vets.”
TMACC manages the Coatesville LINK, which runs from Parkesburg to Coatesville, Monday through Saturday, with one of its major stops located at the VA Medical Center. Many veterans who participate in the Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs use the Coatesville LINK to get to jobs and other obligations in the community.
TMACC started its gift drive as a way to support veterans.