White clovers used to raise funds for veterans

AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 316 launches new fundraising initiative

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Reaching into her pocket, one woman produced a small handful of change and extended her cupped hand to Patricia Davis.

“That’s all I have,” the woman clad in a black T-shirt and faded blue jeans.

But the gesture was more than enough.

“That’s alright,” said Patricia Davis in accepting the donation to AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 316 in Rockingham. “Don’t feel bad.”

Davis said she wasn’t sure how the community would receive the latest fundraising effort by the members of AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 316.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Patricia Davis talks a local man who supports veterans and groups like the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary that support them.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Patricia Davis talks a local man who supports veterans and groups like the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary that support them.

And without trying, she’d never know. So she and Elise Freeman committed six hours of their time Saturday at Walmart — from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — in Rockingham offering white clovers with words of remembrance to honor “those who have honorably served and those who are currently serving. In memory of our honored dead — think of me. Amvets.org.”

The event served as a fundraising drive for Ladies Auxiliary Post 316 as well. Membership is about 30, though the number of active participants is about eight. New membership is encouraged and members can choose which programs they want to help with.

“You don’t have to do every project,” Davis said. “But at least one or two a year” would go a long way in helping local veterans.

Freeman and Davis also used the brief meet-and-greets with Walmart customers to introduce them to upcoming events and ongoing projects.

Freeman, the Americanism officer for AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 316, is part of a project that will memorialize veterans’ stories in the Library of Congress Veterans  History Project. Freeman is encouraging veterans of any generation to meet with her for approximately 30 minutes while she records on video each veteran’s story, as told by the veteran. Three copies of each DVD are made, with one going to the veteran, one to the Library of Congress and one remaining with the local AMVETS chapter in case either of the other two copies are destroyed or misplaced.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Elise Freeman approaches a friend of veterans at Walmart Saturday morning in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Elise Freeman approaches a friend of veterans at Walmart Saturday morning in Rockingham.

This latest project, Freeman said, is simply the latest of “anything that I can do to serve these veterans. I like to see Richmond County on the map.”

Davis is assisting with the inaugural Celebration of the Armed Forces event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 12 at Boyd Lake National Guard Armory in Hamlet. Food, music and short speeches by community leaders — Davis offers assurance it is not a political platform — intended to honor and thank veterans of past and current conflicts.

AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 316 serves veterans and their families in a number of ways, including visiting veterans while at local hospitals or at the Fayetteville Medical Center, providing gifts for veterans to celebrate birthdays, sponsor bingo events and a Christmas party, essay and poster contests for school-aged children and many other possibilities.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Military and Veterans, News

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  • Patricia Davis

    Kudos to Mr. Spradlin for covering the AMVETS Ladies Auxillary Post 316 fundraising event at Walmart. The community response exceeded my expectations. The donations will help us reach our goal of providing more assistance to those veterans and families in need. Elsie and I took advantage of the time spent meeting veterans and explaining what our organizations does to help the local veterans. The event was a membership for the Ladies Auxillary as well. A lady was asking me how families of deployed servicemen could receive help and stated that she did not know who to contact. I encouraged her to inform others to consider joining the Auxillary to establish a contact point and assist us with our efforts. We are always seeking ways to help the veteran community but it is challenging as we don’t always know where our help is needed. Events such as this often help to bridge the gap. A huge “Thank You” to each of you that showed support for our veterans!

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