By: VRN Staff | Photos by Su Phelps
VFW Post 12119 in cooperation with VFW Post 10047 continued a 47-year tradition by delivering food baskets to veterans, widows and seniors three times a year at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Butch Beltran who is the Senior Vice Commander of the VFW for the State of Nevada began coordinating the program 15 years ago. At that time he was a member of Post 10047.
Beltran explains, “This program was started by an individual who was a member of [VFW] 10047, forty-seven years ago. He did it for 30 years before he passed away. His name was Best. His daughter took it over. She’s a telemarketer so she’s the one who actually organizes all of this; gets all the product and everything you see that we put together and distribute to all of the veterans.”
Best’s daughter Kathy explained that her father started the drive with the commander of the post 40 years ago. “For veterans, widowed veterans, and families of veterans… He did it for 25 years.” She also noted that the holiday deliveries are the most high-profile thing they do, but, “We do baskets all year long with emphasis on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.”
Beltran added that they do deliveries because, “… a lot of them can’t get out, they’re homebound so we try to make sure everybody gets taken care of during the holidays.”
They also coordinate with groups that provide support services for veterans. Beltran points out a volunteer from Post 10 who has come by to pick up the boxes Heritage Church. “They do a dinner for homeless vets so he’ll be here to pick up 10 more.”
The holiday planning starts 30 days before they start deliveries. They put a list up in the canteen at Post 10047 so individuals and groups who think they qualify call in and put their names on the list. When the list reaches approximately 100-115, they send it to Kathy Best who vets the applicants and then sends it back. The boxes are then prepared and deliveries arranged. Recipients are also welcome to come by and pick up their box of food, a turkey and assorted sundries. To highlight the value of the program, Beltran points out that, “Some of these people have been on [the list] for 20 years.” To see more photos or more stories, go to https://www.veteransreporternews.com/